Celebrating the life of

Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.

1950 - 2023

“We have a special obligation to serve as role models for the youth of our community.”

Phenomenal Man

Philanthropic, Husband, Entrepreneur, Noteworthy, Organizer, Mentor, Eloquent, Nice, Adepth, Leader 

A phenomenal man who lived a phenomenal life, impacting so many in a phenomenal way. The arc of Tommy’s life has demonstrated that you can be successful in business and continuously serve your community. You can educate and empower others and give voice to the voiceless by speaking truth to power, all while mentoring the next generation of leaders. Every area of his life he dedicated to public service is important, but mentoring youth was his passion. It comes across crystal clear in his book The Miracles of Mentoring: How to Encourage and Lead Future Generations. Chairman Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. was a change Maker and a legend in the African American community. He will be missed but never forgotten. His leadership will remain an inspiration for generations to come.


Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., of Atlanta, GA, author, entrepreneur, and community activist passed away on February 15, 2023. Tommy W. Dortch, Jr. was born on April 12, 1950, in Toccoa, Georgia to Lizzie Mae Dortch and Thomas W. Dortch, Sr. He inherited his father’s skills at negotiating, a gift of communication, and a deep concern for his community. Tommy was the youngest of six children, exhibiting his leadership qualities at an early age. He excelled academically (especially in mathematics) and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Tommy attended Whitman Street High School. He was a National Science Foundation Scholar, student council president, and a member of the basketball team. His graduating class of 1968 was the first one to be integrated in Toccoa. Tommy matriculated at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia, where he was a student leader and activist. He served as Student Body President and was elected by a landslide. He pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and was a life member. Tommy earned a B.A. Degree in Sociology and Pre-Professional Social Work from Fort Valley State University in 1972 and a Masters of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark Atlanta University in 1986. He also attended Georgia State University as a Ford Fellow in the Urban Administration Program. Tommy received Honorary Doctorates from Fayetteville State University, Jarvis Christian College, Fort Valley State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Livingstone College.

Upon graduating college in 1972, Tommy commenced his career as an activist by seeking aid for disenfranchised people and proposing projects to the State of Georgia. In 1974, Tommy became the associate director of the Georgia Democratic Party, propelling and fueling his passion for politics. In 1978, Tommy began working for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and eventually became the first African-American State Director to serve in this capacity for any U.S. Senator.

Tommy’s civic activism grew during these years, and, in 1986, he joined 100 Black Men of America, Inc., a mentoring organization focused on leadership, education, health and wellness, and mentoring. He served as Chairman of 100 Black Men of Atlanta and was twice elected the Chairman of 100 Black Men of America’s National Board of Directors. Tommy helped shape ‘The 100’ and developed it into an international force for Black youth empowerment. In 1986, he founded the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., awarding over $1.1 million dollars in scholarships to HBCU students.

In 1994, after more than 16 years of government service, Tommy left his position to pursue his own business interests, including minority and small business development, transportation, and non-profit organizations. Tommy W. Dortch, Jr. served as CEO of the consulting firm TWD, Inc. and Atlanta Transportation Systems, Inc., Chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Parking, and Managing Partner of FAD Consulting, LLC. He co-founded the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (GAME) to fill a void as an advocacy organization for minority business development. He also co-founded the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance as a capacity building and business development organization for the construction and transportation industries.

Tommy W. Dortch, Jr. was a much sought-after speaker on both a national and an international level to governmental entities, corporations, and educational institutions. These included the Darden School of Business – University of Virginia, Southern University, Delaware State University, Jarvis Christian College, Florida A&M University, South Carolina State University, Georgia State University, Thomas University, Georgia Tech, Paine College, Tuskegee University, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Emerging Leaders Forum, and White House Initiatives on Black Colleges. Additionally, he served on the Federal Executive Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Lockheed Georgia Corporation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, United Negro College Fund, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), Congressional Black Caucus, Fort Valley State University, United States Department of Energy, American Cancer Society, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Blacks In Government, and Anheuser-Busch Company, among others.

Tommy had guest appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox News Channel – the O’Reilly Factor, C-SPAN, Talk Back Atlanta, National Press Club, CNN, Good Day Atlanta, Black Issues in Higher Education National Video Conference, and MBC Town Hall Meeting. Tommy was the recipient of numerous awards and honors that celebrate his efforts. A partial list includes his inclusion in the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 May Editions of Ebony Magazine as one of The 100 Most Influential African Americans; his listing in Spring 2001 through 2014 Publications of Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of The 100 Most Influential Atlantans; the 2008 Community Service Professional of the Year Award; the 2008 FraserNet Community Service Award; the 2008 Global Leadership Empowerment Award; and the Board of Trustees of Leadership Atlanta. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation; Chairman of the Board, Friendship Force International; Chairman of the Board, Fulton/DeKalb County Hospital Authority; and a member of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame. He served three terms as Chairman of The Board of The Atlanta Business League. Other organizations include Operation Hope, Board of Trustees; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Board of Trustees; Talladega College, Board of Trustees; Clark Atlanta University, Board of Trustees; and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (Chairman). He was recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 50 Most Admired CEOs in 2019; and by Atlanta’s Magazine’s as of the 500 Most Influential Leaders.

Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. received numerous awards highlighting his achievements – a Presidential Citation for volunteerism, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award, Atlanta Business League’s Business Hall of Fame, the Concerned Black Clergy’s Salute to Black Fathers Leadership Award, and most recently legislation was introduced for his receipt of the Congressional Gold Medal for his leadership and contributions to his country. Recently, Clark Atlanta University established the TWD Institute in his honor and Fort Valley State University also named a building in his honor. Tommy loved to travel the world; he enjoyed soul food and Chinese food. A true Renaissance man, Tommy was a wine aficionado, vintner, and sommelier.

He is survived by his wife, Carole; five children, Bridgette, Mark, Thomas (Jeniece) III, Angel, and Mulu (Zelealem); 14 grandchildren; and sisters, Juanita Dortch Nickens and Marie Dortch Lucas; and a host of other relatives. Tommy was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas W. Dortch Sr. and Lizzie Mae Dortch; and siblings, John Edward Dortch (brother), Richard Wesley Dortch (brother), and Carolyn Dortch Kessler (sister).


Funeral Service for Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.

Saturday, February 25, 2023 11:00 AM

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
6400 Woodrow Rd.
Stonecrest, GA 30038

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