Restorer of Faith

SHIRLEY FRANKLIN / ATLANTA

JOHN CHIASSON FOR TIME

ATLANTA: Franklin takes the air at Centennial Olympic Park

Shirley Franklin isn't standard mayor material. For starters, she's a woman, which makes her the first female mayor Atlanta has ever had; in fact, she's the first black woman ever to run a big Southern city. All of 5 ft. 1 in. tall, Franklin is a divorced mother of three who dyes her hair platinum blond. Before she campaigned for mayor, Franklin had never run for an elected office. Outkast played at her inauguration.

When Franklin took office in 2002, Atlanta needed somebody a little out of the ordinary. Her predecessor, Bill Campbell, had completely blown the public's trust in city...

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