Robert Langdon Foreman, Jr., formerly Robert Langdon Foreman III, is a native Atlantan and grew up in homes on Huntington Road in Brookwood Hills, on Peachtree Road in Midtown, and on West Paces Ferry Road, adjacent to Harmony Grove Cemetery. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then Harvard Law School. In 1950, he married Elizabeth Hitz and they had three children, Robert, Alexa and Jim. Mr. Foreman began practicing law in 1949 with the firm Bird and Howell, which evolved over time and ultimately became Alston and Bird in 1982. Mr. Foreman practiced law for 42 years. He was also a long-standing member of the Board of Trustees of the Fox Theatre and served as President of the Community Chest of Atlanta, President of the Atlanta Bar Association, and President of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
Abstract of Interview
In his interview, Mr. Foreman discusses family history and mentions members of his family who made significant contributions to Atlanta including his great-grandfather, Evan P. Howell, who owned of a grist mill in Buckhead and later became editor-in-chief of the Atlanta Constitution. He also recalls the story of his grandmother, Laulie Ray Shedden, hiding family furniture in the basement of the Trinity Methodist Church during the Civil War to prevent its destruction. He recalls the battle to save the Fox Theatre, a fight in which he played an integral role. He also discusses his friendship with the theater’s caretaker Joe Patten, Patten’s rehabilitation of the “Mighty Mo” organ, and Patten’s arrangement to have an apartment in the Fox Theatre. Foreman discusses his role as a young man in the Junior Georgians orchestra and the “Atlanta Paupers Club,” a group of boat-owning friends who spent “all of their money” on boating. He also discusses one of the favorite getaways for Atlantans—Highlands, North Carolina. And he recalls numerous Buckhead institutions including E. Rivers Elementary School, Mrs. Bloodworth’s Kindergarten, Miller’s Service Station, and the Buckhead Theatre.
In the video clip below, Foreman describes his family’s involvement in the Civil War.
Visit YouTube to view additional video excerpts from our Oral History Project.
Interview by Chad Wright, January 12, 2013.
Buckhead Heritage Society
3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30305