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Dan Sweat papers

Identifier: Y005

Scope and Contents of the Papers

Correspondence, minutes and agendas, notes, financial records, and such printed materials as clippings and reports make up the papers of Dan Sweat, 1964-1986. The material relates to the many non-profit organizations, community groups, and educational institutions with which Sweat was associated, and documents his varied roles, such as officer, board member, and speaker. The papers document philanthropy, planning, education, and religious organizations in the Atlanta area through the records of Sweat's association with the Metropolitan Foundation of Atlanta, Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation, and Leadership Atlanta; Georgia State University and its foundation; and the Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.


  • Creation: 1964-1986


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biography of Dan Sweat

Born in 1933 in Waycross, GA, Dan Sweat first moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State College (now Georgia State University). Graduating with a B.A. in public administration in 1957, Sweat went on to have a successful career in public service and city development. Sweat began his professional career as a court reporter for the Atlanta Journal while still attending college. After a brief service in the Navy, Sweat returned to his Journal job but was quickly appointed Information Director of DeKalb County under the leadership of Charles O. Emmerich. When Emmerich was appointed head of Economic Opportunity Atlanta, an anti-poverty agency, he convinced Sweat to serve with him. In 1966, Sweat moved to City Hall as Director of Government Liaison. He was appointed Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. and continued to hold the position under Mayor Sam Massell. During his time with Mayor Massell, Sweat's accomplishments included coordinating Atlanta's "War on Poverty" and the Model Cities programs. After leaving City Hall in 1972, Sweat was appointed the first Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). His work at ARC included the establishment of the Chattachoochee River Corridor. The following year, Sweat left ARC to serve as president of Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), a private, nonprofit corporation created to establish a robust economic climate for Downtown Atlanta. During his fifteen years at CAP, Sweat helped organize and manage projects that included: the Bedford-Pine Redevelopment, the Urban Walls Project (the first in the US), the Fairlie-Poplar District, the redesign of Woodruff Park, and the development of Underground Atlanta. In 1988, Sweat left CAP to work for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation, a philanthropic organization. Appointed by former President Jimmy Carter to coordinate The Atlanta Project in 1991, Sweat's goal was to establish Atlanta as a model of grassroots community involvement for improving the quality of life through partnerships and cooperation. In addition to a successful professional career, Sweat contributed to the community by serving on various boards and foundations. His board membership included the Alliance for Human Services Planning, the Georgia Motor Club American Automobile Association (AAA), the Atlanta Partnership of Business and Education, the Atlanta Junior League, and the Georgia State University Foundation. In 1974-78, he served as Board President for the Metropolitan Foundation of Atlanta (later renamed the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta after being known as the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation). Recognized by the New York Times as the "premier civic administrator," Sweat was honored with many awards during his service in city planning and development. These awards included the Shining Light Award given by WSB Radio - Atlanta Gas Light Company, and the Torch of Liberty Award given by the Anti-Defamation League. Sweat also continued to support his alma mater, Georgia State University, by founding the Dan E. Sweat Distinguished Chair in Educational Policy. Sweat died on February 28, 1997 and is survived by his wife Tally, three children, and several grandchildren.


20 Linear Feet (in 16 boxes)

Language of Materials



Dan Sweat, Jr. had a successful career in public service and city development in Atlanta, including positions with DeKalb County, Economic Opportunity Atlanta, the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission, Central Atlanta Progress, Metropolitan Foundation of Atlanta, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and The Atlanta Project. The collection consists of correspondence, minutes and agendas, notes, financial records, and such printed materials as clippings and reports, 1964-1986. The papers document philanthropy, planning, education, and religious organizations in the Atlanta area through the records of Sweat's association with many non-profit organizations, community groups, and educational institutions.


The papers retain the order from the Atlanta History Center.

Custodial History Note

This material was donated to the Atlanta Historical Society in 1992, as part of the Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. records. The Atlanta History Center transferred the papers to GSU Special Collections in March 2009.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Atlanta History Center, March 2009 (Y2009-01).

Related Materials

Related Materials in Other Repositories

  1. Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. Records, Atlanta History Center (Atlanta, Ga.), MSS 591

Processing Information

The papers are in the organization and arrangement created at the Atlanta History Center. Inventory created by Peter J. Roberts, June 2009. Electronic finding aid created by William W. Hardesty, April 2013.

Dan Sweat
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University
William W. Hardesty
April 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)