Top 5 Middle Georgia Authors

Especially important to Macon are the works by authors who live in our neighborhoods and work in our community.  This Top 5 recognizes Middle Georgia writers, past and present, whose work reflects the spirit of the state — its land and people.



1. richard j. hutto

Richard Jay Hutto, a former attorney, once served as White House Appointments Secretary to the Carter Family and was the Chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. A frequent international lecturer, Mr. Hutto is revered as one of the foremost historians and authorities on the Gilded Age.  He compiled and edited Accepted Fables, the autobiography of Jordan Massee.  He also wrote Entitled: American Women, Titled Husbands, and the Pursuit of Excess, as well as Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes, and the lavishly illustrated book, Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members. His latest body of work, A Peculiar Tribe of People, is a twisted and sordidly entertaining southern gothic mystery that centers on Maconite, Chester Burge that was published in 2010.

He, his wife and children live in Macon, Georgia, where he was an elected member of City Council in 2007.


2.  Robert lee scott, jr.

Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, Robert L. Scott, Jr. became a brigadier general in the United States Air Force. Scott is best known for his autobiography God is My Co-Pilot about his exploits in World War II with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma.   For his combat record in World War II, Scott received two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Air Medals.  During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Scott carried the Olympic Flame along a section of Georgia Highway 247 named in his honor. Scott retired from the United States Air Force as a brigadier general on 30 September 1957, and remained in Arizona until the 1980s. He then lived in Warner Robins, Georgia, until his death in 2006. Scott's book God is My Co-Pilot was eventually made into a film of the same name.

3.  benjamin w. griffith, iii

After completing his degrees at Mercer University and Florida State, Benji Griffith taught English studies at Tift College and added to his list of published poems.  In 1984, Mr. Griffith became president of Southern Pine Plantations; a land sales and development company located in Juliette. 



4.  chuck leavell

Chuck Leavell has been rocking audiences for over thirty years.  His piano and keyboard work has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more. In addition to being a well established pianist/artist in the music industry, Leavell is also a published author, long time tree farmer, co-founder of the popular website The Mother Nature Network, and keeps busy with his advocacy work on behalf of the environment.  In addition to his musical expertise, Leavell is also a respected authority on forestry and conservation. In 2001, he penned “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest.” This book is now in its second printing in the U.S. and has been translated and released in Germany and Austria. Leavell is a highly sought after speaker on the subject, invited by various committees, environmental officials and high level government officials to share his knowledge and help shape forest policy in America.

5.  john charles griffin

Born in Hahira, Georgia, John Charles Griffin spent his early years living and working on a family farm where the way of life included hard work, tending crops, home grown vegetables, a rural route book mobile, grocery truck, skinny dipping, and riding school buses on dirt roads through cypress swamps, where bridges washed out over creeks during the rainy season.   A 1984 graduate of Valdosta State University with a B.A. in English Literature, Griffin is a Macon, Georgia native and serves on The Board of Trustees with The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran having served with U.S. Middle East Forces in the Persian Gulf. His poems have appeared in anthologies SHADES AND SHADOWS, SILVER VALLEY VOICE, and VELVET CRESCENDO.

For More Middle Georgia Authors Check Out Our Second Top 5 Installment