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Inquirer Friend and Former Atlanta First Lady Succumbs – Burnella Jane “Bunnie” Hayes Jackson Ransom

Burnella Jane “Bunnie” Hayes Jackson Ransom
November 16, 1940 – February 2, 2023

Burnella Jane “Bunnie” Hayes Jackson Ransom was born on November 16, 1940 in Louisburg, North Carolina to Burnell James Hayes and Elizabeth Day Hayes. She was more affectionately known by her nickname, Bunnie.

Her father, Burnalle James Hayes (1903 – 1969), was nicknamed “Bun” and was a baseball pitcher with the Negro Leagues from 1928 to 1935. He had played with the Baltimore Black Sox, Chicago American Giants, Washington Pilots, Brooklyn Eagles and Newark Dodgers.

Jackson-Ransom attended North Carolina College in Durham, North Carolina, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in business and a minor in education. She then received her M.S. degree in business from North Carolina Central University School of Business and Economics in 1969.

Jackson-Ransom was hired as an instructor of business and supervisor of secretarial services at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She then joined Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc., where she was a contract specialist, program coordinator, director of planning and program development during her five-year tenure. In 1965, she met and married Maynard Jackson, who went on to become the first Black mayor of Atlanta in 1973.

In 1975, Jackson-Ransom founded firstClass, Inc., a company specializing in marketing, community affairs, communications and public relations. With firstClass, Inc., she worked with many clients including The National Conference of Black Mayors, Waste Management, Inc. and the Burger King Corporation. She was responsible for designing and implementing many on-going community action projects for her clients, working to include the goals of the urban community that benefit and enhance the lives of the least fortunate. In 1978, she worked with Fashion Fair Cosmetics, on a line of cosmetics for Black consumers.

She later married Raymond Ransom, a bass player for the musical group, Brick. From 1979 to 1983, she was owner and operator of Airport Amusement Concessions at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. She also managed the careers of several performing artists between 1978 and 1988 when she served as Chief Administrative Officer of a conglomerate company under the umbrella of Atlanta Artists. For Atlanta Artists Management, Jackson-Ransom served as president. She managed multi-million dollar record sales, toured the world with performances and promotions, negotiated production deals for various artists, including which CAMEO and Larry Blackmon, The SOS Band and Cashflow. She also served as an instructor at Georgia State University teaching a course called “Artist Representation” from 1981 to 1990 and in 1995.

A long-time resident of the southwest Atlanta community, Jackson-Ransom was a positive force behind many initiatives in Atlanta. She had served on the advisory board for The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper for several events. She continued to be a friend and advisor to the newspaper until her death. “I will forever be grateful for Mrs. Jackson-Ransom, her friendship, her service and encouragement throughout the years,” says John B. Smith, Jr., Publisher/Editor and CEO of The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper. “She was not only helpful to our community and the newspaper, but she and her family are family friends since my childhood,” continues Smith, Jr.

Jackson-Ransom was a member of the Atlanta League of Women Voters and was organizer of the Cascade Heights Branch, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., executive committee member of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, the Azalea Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women and the National Council of Negro Women. Her awards include Outstanding Young Women in America (1970-1980). Jackson-Ransom has been listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in Georgia and Who’s Who in Black America from 1981 to the present. She was listed in Dollars and Sense Magazine as one of “America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women” in 1985. She was also listed among Atlanta’s “Top 100 Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League from 1997 to 2005 and received a community service award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in January 2008.

Jackson-Ransom is survived by her four children: Beth Jackson Hodges, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Rae Yvonne Ransom and Maynard H. Jackson III; grandchildren: Isabella Daisy Jackson, Luke Benjamin Jackson, Hayes Jackson Edmond, Brooke Lee Irene Edmond and Cassandra Elizabeth Edmond; several relatives and a host of associates and friends.

Final arrangements are handled by Murray Brothers Funeral Home, 1199 Utoy Springs Road SW in Atlanta, Georgia 30331-2113.


Burnella Jane “Bunnie” Hayes Jackson Ransom

  • Viewing with Family Visitation and Various Ceremonies
    • Sunday, February 12, 2023
    • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    • Murray Brothers Funeral Home Cascade Chapel
    • 1199 Utoy Springs Road SW
    • Atlanta, Georgia 30331-2113
  • Interment
    • Monday, February 13, 2023
    • South-View Cemetery
    • 1990 Jonesboro Road SE
    • Atlanta, Georgia 30315-6727

Last updated on February 13, 2023

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