Vitae, Part I
To run for public office is a unique process whereby the candidate seeks employment by gathering the most votes among the people to be served and to that end I am submitting my resume to you, the employer. Hundreds of people have hit up my LinkedIn page, which is incomplete, and I have been asked to fill in the blanks. Here is everything you need to know about Murray M. Silver, Jr.:
I was born in Savannah, GA, on 3 October 1953.
My mother is Barbara Ann Kahn Silver, born in Savannah, in 1932.
My father is Murray M. Silver, born in Savannah, in 1929.
My mother studied Art in college and at various times in her life worked as a librarian and as my father's receptionist. She was the perpetual president of the Breckenridge Garden Arts club in Atlanta for many years and was chiefly responsible for rescuing and renovating Callanwolde, the stately manor of the Candler family, who founded Coca-Cola, turning it into Atlanta's premiere private function facility. She is also an accomplished pianist. The single most interesting fact about my mother is that she shared the same birthday (April 27) with Coretta Scott King and for many years the Kings and Silvers held a party for both celebrants. My mother is the only person on this planet to blow out the candles on the same birthday cake with Coretta Scott King.
My father practiced Criminal Law from 1953 until 2000, having also been appointed to a Municipal Court judgeship by Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. During his career he represented Mafia bosses, Nobel laureates and just about everybody in between, including some of the biggest drug dealers in America. He donated a significant amount of his time, effort and energy as legal counsel to Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King and Andrew Young, serving on the founding board of directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change (The King Center). He was Campaign Finance Chairman for every campaign that Andy Young ran and won. He was one of the first white Southern lawyers to represent African-Americans in criminal cases for which he won many awards and honors, including the SCLC Drum Major Award. He is a recovering Democrat. Among his most important cases: The State of Georgia vs. Robert Felton Moore, in which my father argued that the defendant (a black man who admitted to killing two white men) was innocent on the grounds that the police had beaten a confession out of him (1966) and took the case all the way to the US Court of Appeals where he won on reversal; Dr. William Shockley vs. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which my father represented a Nobel laureate who had been labeled a racist and a Nazi for his controversial position on race and intelligence; and as legal counsel to Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., in matters surrounding the murder of his wife, Alberta, in 1974. The single most interesting fact about my father is that he authored books about his two "fathers": This Bo Peep Ain't No Fairy Tale (2001) and Daddy King and Me (2009).
I attended Miss Elizabeth's Kindergarten in 1957. I was suspended after I tried to jump the chain link fenced surrounding the playground because I wanted to go home. As punishment, I was made to wear a baby bonnet in front of the class. It was the first time a crowd of people laughed at me and I vowed never to return, and my mother was forced to keep me at home while she nursed my infant brother. Actually, the real reason I didn't want to return was because Miss Elizabeth picked me up and drove me home with a bunch of other kids and Donald, who sat next to me, couldn't make the ride without crapping in his pants. I attended Virginia Heard Elementary School in grades one through 3 1/2, and was the student of legendary Savannah teacher Dahlia Bearden, whom I had a crush on in spite of the fact that she, too, embarrassed me by making me play a solo on the Tonette, ultimately proving that I had only been pretending to play the damn thing. Grades four through 5 1/2 I spent at Jacob G. Smith Elementary School, where I formed lifelong friendships with people I lost track of for 50 years. I attended what was left of my sixth grade year at Sidney Lanier Elementary School in Brunswick, GA, then moved over to Glynn County Junior High for grades 7 and 8.
I ran for president of my 5th grade class and won, beating future Savannah Alderman Tommy Bordeaux.
I ran for president of my 8th grade class and lost to my girlfriend, resulting in a protest and investigation into a vote rigging scandal.
I attended grades 9-12 at Lakeside High School in Atlanta, GA, where I formed other lifelong friendships that remain in tact today. I was a B-student, played trumpet and baritone in the marching band, and failed to distinguish myself in sports or extra-curricular activities as I was too busy promoting rock concerts on weekends. Nevertheless, my classmates voted me Outstanding Senior in 1971.
I received a BA in English Literature with a minor in Russian Language from Georgia State University in 1975. While at Georgia State I continued to promote concerts professionally and also served as student council concert chairman, from which I was ousted by the president for squandering the entire yearly concert budget on bringing someone named Paul Simon for homecoming. I met my future wife at GSU. I also formed the Pre-Law Society in an effort to launch a law school at GSU. I pledged Sigma Nu. I returned to my alma mater in 1982 to teach a course I designed, The History of Popular Music in America: From Ragtime to Rock'n'Roll.
I received a Juris Doctor degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1978. WW was a night school that does not exist any more. I decided to go to WW rather than UGA or Emory because I was working in my father's law firm and getting a better education. I was also still involved in the music business as a journalist and photographer. In 1979, while studying for the bar exam, I began writing my first book, Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis (William Morrow, 1982), and sold the movie rights before the book was finished. I told my father that-- all things considered-- I'd rather write books and make movies than practice criminal law; my father said he didn't blame me.
In addition to my interests in Popular Music, Literature, Film, Civil Rights and Law, I have an abiding interest in Art (I owned a gallery in Stone Mountain from 1985-88), Photography, Tibetan Buddhism, Notre Dame football, and the Paranormal.
Among my honors and awards, I am most proud of having been named Lion of the Year by the Savannah Lions Club for 2009-12.
End Part 1.