Atlanta, GA Taxicab Kills Margaret Mitchell, Aug 1949

Margaret Mitchell, from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Margaret Mitchell, best selling author of "Gone With the Wind", was struck by a speeding automobile as she crossed Peachtree Street at 13th Street with her husband, John Marsh, on her way to see the British film A Canterbury Tale at The Peachtree Art Theatre in August 1949. She died at Grady Hospital five days later without regaining consciousness. The driver, Hugh Gravitt, was an off-duty taxi driver. He was driving his personal vehicle at the time, but his occupation led to many erroneous references over the years to Mitchell’s having been struck by a taxi. Gravitt had been out on $5,450 bond, having been arrested for drunken driving. This incident prompted Georgia Gov. Herman Talmadge to announce that the state would tighten regulations for licensing taxi drivers.

Gravitt was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months in prison. His conviction was controversial because witnesses said Mitchell stepped into the street without looking, and her friends claimed she often did this.

She was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.


Read articles about the taxicab accident. (below)