St Luke's Episcopal Church
435 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
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Clifford G. GREEN

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Clifford G. GREEN Obituary
GREEN, Clifford G. Clifford Gerald Green, an award-winning Atlanta journalist and one-time minor league baseball player whose interests ranged from horse racing to theology, died October 17 following a brief illness. He was 74. A native of Cedar Bluff, Ala., Green first moved to Atlanta in 1964 and got a job as a Delta Air Lines baggage handler at the Atlanta airport. He later worked as a plumbing supply salesman in Rome, Ga., before somehow parlaying the baggage-handling and plumbing experience into a reporting job with the local paper, the Rome News-Tribune, in about 1970. "Somehow or another I remember this guy just sort of sauntering into the newsroom one day looking for a job," said Charles Graves, the News-Tribune city editor at the time, "and it turned out we had one." It also turned out to be a good hire. Two years later Green won first prize in public service reporting in the Associated Press's Georgia newswriting awards program. Armed with the AP award, Green applied for a job with The Atlanta Journal, where the city editor at the time, Bob Johnson, had a reaction a lot like Graves. "Cliff Green was one of those guys I hired mainly because I liked him," Johnson said. Green joined the Journal in 1973 and for the next eight years covered a wide range of stories, focusing largely on crime and federal courts. Among other major stories, he covered the career and trial of Atlanta pornographer Mike Thevis and the kidnapping of Atlanta Constitution editor Reg Murphy. Throughout his newspaper career, Green was known for a tight writing style and crisp prose that pulled readers into hard news stories and rollicking features alike. He also had a knack for finding stories about Atlanta's more unsavory elements. "Stripper Had Five Operations with Silicone" was the headline on one of his stories in the late '70s. Green won a second Associated Press award in 1978, this one for spot news reporting. He left the newspaper in 1981 and worked briefly in public relations before taking a position as a writer and editor at a major financial planning magazine. He later joined the Internal Revenue Service and worked there as tax examiner before retiring in 2008. In 1980, he married Linda Pierce, a Kentucky native, and through her discovered thoroughbred horse racing. Over the years, he recruited friends and organized trips to Kentucky, California, Florida, New Jersey and New York to enjoy the sport. In the mid-1990s, Green developed an interest in religion and theology and undertook four years of Education for Ministry study through St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta. He was preceded in death by his parents James Henry and Agnes Hunter Green; a brother, John L. Green, who was killed in the Korean conflict, and a foster brother, Jerry Bowen. He is survived by his sister Anne Green Townes of Brentwood, Tenn., and his wife, Linda Pierce Green. A memorial service will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 435 Peachtree Street NE at 1 p.m. on October 24th. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Atlanta, 1244 Park Vista Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 20, 2017
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