Top 5 Illustrious Maconites

Celebrities and notable individuals can be huge sources of pride for their hometown, and the feeling is often mutual.  The city of Macon has been the birthplace or residence to many celebrities and remarkable people throughout its history.  Here is a list of our Top 5 Illustrious Maconites worth mentioning.

1.  camille de mave

Camille DeMave, formerly Ann Camille Smith was born in Macon, Georgia.  Camille's shining beauty netted the attention of two top modeling agencies in New York City; Eileen Ford and Huntington Hartford. She met her husband, renowned actor Jack DeMave who later starred on the Lassie series as Ranger Bob Ericson as well as playing opposite Doris Day and Mary Tyler Moore in their shows.  She later went on to work as the Assistant to famed Producer Robert Arthur at Universal Studios working with people like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Dean Martin.  Camille became Assistant to Director George Roy Hill, who won the Oscar for The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. He also directed the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Camille also worked as Assistant to Paul Newman and became good friends with him and his wife, Joanne.  Mrs. De Mave passed away in 2013 and is buried in Macon.


2.  ian copeland

Copeland was born in Damascus, Syria, to a US CIA officer - and former jazz trumpeter - and his Scottish-born archeologist wife.  Copeland’s younger brother Stewart was the drummer with the band Police and his older brother Miles was Police’s manager.  Copeland joined his brothers as a booking agent, representing many of the most successful bands of the 1970's and 80's, including REM, the Bangles, the Cure, the B-52's and the Go-Gos.  Ian was also hired to work for Walden’s Capricorn Record affiliate, Paragon Agency in Macon, Georgia.  Ian worked regularly with Capricorn's biggest act, the Allman Brothers, and other southern rockers including Lynyrd Skynyrd. While in Macon, Copeland met and married Phil Walden's cousin Connie.  In 1978, Ian moved to New York to start his own agency, Frontier Booking International (FBI).  Ian Copeland passed away in 2006.

3.  jay carson

Ambition has always been a key gene in the Carson family.  When Jay Carson graduated from Central High School in Macon, Georgia and later Columbia University, his priority was to work in politics.  After graduating from Columbia, Carson became George Stephanopoulos’ intern and Carson later went to work for some of the leading political names such as Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle and Howard Dean.  Carson was also the inspiration for the Ryan Gosling character in the highly acclaimed movie "The Ides of March." In 2012, Jay Carson became a co-producer of (and political consultant for) the Netflix original series House of Cards with his best friend and fellow Columbia graduate Beau Willimon.  Carson currently serves as the Executive Director of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, as well as Senior Advisor to Bloomberg Philanthropies and is married to playwright and screenwriter Sarah Treem.

4.  brian layson

Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, Layson was the lead guitar player for multi-platinum and Grammy Award winning band, Dierks Bentley until his departure in May of 2016. Layson left Macon for Nashville in 2000 and had an extensive career in Nashville playing with notable artists, Will Hoge, Julianne Hough, Chuck Wicks, Lee Ann Womack, and Holly Williams.  Layson also does session work and has started producing a couple of independent records each year for artists including Shane Bridges, James Dunn, Chris Talley, and Nick Malloy.

5.  sonny carter

Born August 15, 1947, in Macon, Georgia, Carter graduated from Lanier High School in Macon in 1965, and during his high school years was involved actively in Macon-based Troop 19 of the Boy Scouts of America, where he also served a term as Senior Patrol Leader, the highest leadership position for a young man in that BSA troop, and achieved the ultimate rank of Eagle Scout.  Later, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Emory and completing Emory University School of Medicine in 1973, Carter interned in internal medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.  Carter was selected by NASA and became an astronaut in June 1985.  NASA qualified Carter for assignment as a Mission Specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews.  After 79 orbits of the earth and logging 120 hours in space, Carter died aboard a NASA commercial airplane crash in Brunswick, Georgia.

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