Friday, August 17, 2012

As God is their witness, they’ll never go hungry again

A remarkable gift that affects our local region has been made public. Joseph Mitchell, son of Stephens Mitchell, the brother of Margaret Mitchell -- the same Margaret Mitchell who wrote Gone With the Wind -- has left his half of the Mitchell estate to the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta.

You can read the fascinating details here (and if you click on the link within the link, even more fascinating details).

If you’re the type who doesn’t do links, here are just a few of the things the archdiocese received, according to the article:

- A 50 percent share of the trademark and literary rights to Gone With the Wind, which still sells 75,000 copies per year in the U.S. alone.

- Mr. Mitchell’s home on Habersham Road in Atlanta.

- A collection of signed first editions of Gone With the Wind published in various languages and an unpublished history of the Mitchell family, handwritten by Margaret’s father, Eugene Muse Mitchell.

- Some of Margaret Mitchell’s personal effects, including her wallet with her press card and library card, and furniture from her apartment.

- A library of books that includes histories and signed first editions of the late Georgia Catholic author Flannery O’Connor’s novels and short stories.

Joseph Mitchell, 76, was the last direct descendant of the Mitchell family. His brother, Eugene, a generous benefactor of Morehouse College and School of Medicine, as was Margaret Mitchell, died in 2007. The two brothers had each inherited a trust with a half share of the literary and trademark rights to the celebrated novel written by their late aunt.

From the Joseph Mitchell estate, Archbishop Gregory has designated that $7.5 million be given to the Cathedral of Christ the King for its building fund. He has also assigned $1.5 million to Catholic Charities Atlanta for its immediate use and an additional $2 million to create an endowment fund for the social services agency to address its long-term need for sustaining income. The archbishop has also asked the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia to create an endowment fund for each parish, mission, and Catholic school of the archdiocese with a $10,000 gift apiece from the Joseph Mitchell estate, totaling over $1 million.

It’s almost too much to take in.

I’ll think about that tomorrow.

After all, tomorrow is another day.


  1. Glad I read your blog today so I could find out about this. I bought a paperback of GWTW at a book fair at my school when I was a teenager. Sat on the front porch and read it during the summer. The movie was making the rounds in the theaters about that time, too. I liked it, but liked the book better.

  2. Jeannelle, I almost always like a book better than its movie. And I try to read the book before seeing the movie so that I don't envision the characters to be certain actors and actresses. One scene from the GWTW movie that has stuck in my mind, though, was the long pullback camera shot of the Atlanta railroad yard where so many Confederates lay wounded.

    Y.P., thank you. Your comment is short, but sweet.