Shirley Clarke Franklin is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party who served as the 58th mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, from 2002 to 2010.
Franklin was born on May 19, 1945, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls and later received her B.A. in sociology from Howard University. Franklin also received her M.A., in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
After college, Franklin served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Mayor Maynard Jackson. Subsequently, she was named Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager under Mayor Andrew Young.
Her 2001 run for mayor was her first run for public office. She won, succeeding Mayor Bill Campbell after winning 50 percent of the vote, defeating several candidates including Democrat Rob Pitts (33 percent). Franklin made repairing the Atlanta sewer system the main focus of her office
In 2005, TIME Magazine named Franklin one of the five best big-city American mayors. In October of that same year, she was included in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Leaders of 2005” issue.
Franklin was the recipient of Profile in Courage Award in 2005, issued by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. The foundation praised her management of the city of Atlanta during the critical period of enormous deficit and loss of public confidence in government following the corrupt administration of Mayor Bill Campbell.