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Bestest: The Life of Peyton Tooke Anderson, Jr.

Peyton Anderson, Jr., was greatly influenced by his family. A child of privilege in Macon, Georgia, he was the son and nephew of the men who owned and ran the town's two newspapers. After attending the Naval Academy, he returned home and went to work in the family business. Peyton married his childhood sweetheart, had two children and quickly assumed his place as a business and social leader in Macon. For many people, that would have been enough for a comfortable, satisfying life. But Anderson was not a man willing to settle for the status quo. In 1951, he acquired sole ownership of the Macon Telegraph and News and, over the next two decades, he led the papers to national prominence.

Anderson himself became influential in the American Newspaper Publishers Association and served for many years on the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy. He was entertained at the White House by three different presidents and was a confidante of some of the most powerful politicians of his time. But through it all, he remained an approachable man whose first concern was his own community.

While Anderson inherited many things from his family -- business acumen and generosity of spirit -- perhaps the most important was a devotion to his community. Throughout his life, he performed numerous private acts of kindness, but it was not until his death that his hometown learned the full extent of his generosity. Since then the Peyton Anderson Foundation has contributed millions of dollars for the benefit of the people of Macon and Middle Georgia.