Remembering Carrol Dadisman (ABJ ’56)

Remembering Carrol Dadisman (ABJ ’56)

August 22, 2021
Sarah E.
Carrol Dadisman signs copies of “Dear Old U-G-A” in 2013 underneath a photo of him when he was a student working at The Red & Black. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

Carrol Dadisman (ABJ ’56), former president and publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat and a Grady College Fellow, died Aug. 19. He was 87 years old.

“Carrol Dadisman loved journalism, and the feeling was mutual,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “He seemed to know everyone in the business, and everyone loved him. We’ll be forever shaped by his kindness, his willingness to mentor our students, and his love for this institution.”

After retiring from the Tallahassee Democrat in 1977, Dadisman wrote about his love for The Red & Black and The University of Georgia, in “Dear Old U-G-A.” The book chronicles the campus life through essays and pages of the The Red & Black from 1893 to 2013, the year the book was published.

Dadisman served as editor the The Red & Black in 1954. In the preface to his book, he says, “I gave my heart to Georgia, and it gave back to me.”

Mildred and Carrol Dadisman, ca. 1956.

In addition to a career, UGA brought him together with something more important: Mildred, his wife. He dedicated his Dear Old U-G-A book to Mildred, who he credited as his “Schoolmate at Georgia. My beloved Mate for Life.” According to an Aug. 19 article in the Tallahassee Democrat, he died at their home on their 65th wedding anniversary.

In the 2015 book, “Centennial,” author Culpepper Clark called Dadisman, “A poster boy for fifties-style happiness at UGA.”

Following graduation, Dadisman, a native of Jefferson, Georgia, worked for the Augusta Chronicle, the Marietta Daily Journal, the Macon News and the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. He finished his career working 16 years as president and publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat. He served also as a Knight International Press Fellow and was inducted in 2009 into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame.

“In terms of being the watchdog of government, (journalists) clearly take on that role and relish that role,” Dadisman said of his profession. “It that sense…we are the conscience of the community.”

In a 2015 video, Dadisman talked about the fact “That just because I had a Grady degree, opened many doors for me.”

Dadisman was inducted into the inaugural class of the Grady College Fellowship in 2008 and  served on the board for Grady’s James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research.

Carrol Dadisman (from left), Don Carter (ABJ ’38) and professor emeritus Kent Middleton celebrate Grady’s Centennial in 2015. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

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