Governor of the State of Georgia from 1963 to 1967, Carl Sanders is a leader whose vision and perseverance brought Georgia aviation into the modern era of transportation, poised to enter the 'Twenty-First Century. In stimulating construction of community airports throughout the state, he led in setting the stage for unprecedented economic development. No stranger to public life, Governor Sanders emerged in 1954 as state legislator and aggressive campaigner who would become one of the state's most effective governors. He was a veteran of one term in the Georgia House of Representatives and three terms in the State Senate when he assumed the office of governor in 1963. At that time, the State of Georgia had only thirty airports with paved runways. A veteran B-17 pilot of World War II and an accomplished corporate pilot, the young Augusta, Georgia, native was convinced of the increasing value of aviation to the economic future of the state. Recognizing modern industrial and commercial demands for convenient air transportation, Governor Sanders also recognized that Georgia cities and counties had neither the funds nor the political will to make needed airport improvements and expansion on their own. When local officials balked at providing airport funding, Governor Sanders provided necessary funding from the state. He worked skillfully with state and local governments to obtain matching federal funds to pave an additional seventy airports during his four-year term. During his tenure, Georgia led the nation in airport construction. No previous Georgia governor traveled as much' as Governor Sanders, and the state aircraft became his transportation of choice. He often pointed out that by the end of his term; a pilot flying at 10,000 feet over Georgia is never out of sight of an airstrip on which he might land. "This is a comfort factor second to none," he declared. Governor Sanders received national attention "as one of a new breed of Southern politicians who was a voice of calm and reason in a sea of upheava1." His many honors and recognitions include: Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Award by the Emperor and Government of Japan for significant contributions to promote friendly relations between the United States and Japan; Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Member of Board of Directors, Public Broadcasting Corporation 1968-79; Recipient of the Golden Key Award, National Education Association 1965.
Chairman of the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, former Governor Sanders lives in Atlanta. The Honorable Carl Sanders, World War II bomber pilot, distinguished state senator, and Georgia Governor with a vision, was enshrined May 17, 1997.