John A. Williams, Atlanta developer and philanthropist, has died

John A. Williams, a seminal Georgia developer and minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons, died suddenly Monday.

His company, Preferred Apartment Communities, released a statement saying employees are profoundly saddened to announce the loss of its co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer.

“The Board and the Company are indebted to Mr. Williams for his strong leadership, real estate vision, outgoing personality and boundless energy. The Board’s thoughts are with John’s family at this very difficult time,” the statement says.

Over the course of his career, Williams directed and coordinated the development, construction, and management of more than $15 billion in real estate developments across the nation. Approximately $5.5 billion of this activity has focused on multifamily housing, and the rest was in property such as hotels, condominiums and offices.

Williams founded an iconic Atlanta company, Post Properties, in 1970. It had more than 30,000 apartments. He took Post Properties public as a REIT in 1993 and left the company in 2003.

Williams is survived by his wife Nancy; three children, Jay, Sarah Brook and Parker, and two grandchildren, Jack and Harrison.

He won a number of accolades in his life, from Cobb County’s, "The Mack Henderson Public Service Award," to being inducted into the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame as well as the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Management Hall of Fame. He also served on numerous business and community boards and led the effort to build the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre which cost $150,000,000. The 2,800 seat main theater is named "The John A. Williams Theatre."

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