Atlanta archdiocese receives ‘Gone with the Wind’ bequest
Joseph Mitchell, the son of Margaret’s brother Stephens, died in October 2011 at the age of 76. The novel rights are part of a multi-million dollar bequest to the archdiocese.
“The Archdiocese of Atlanta has been blessed with a generous gift through the kindness of Joe Mitchell,” Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta said Aug. 16. “This gift is a reservoir of the funds earned through the genius of Margaret Mitchell and her depiction of the harsh struggles of Southern life during and after the Civil War.
“The Mitchell family has a proud Catholic legacy, and this gift will allow that legacy and that pride to be shared with many others in the archdiocese.”
“Gone With the Wind,” published in 1936, sold two million copies by 1939 and continues to sell thousands of copies a year in the U.S. The movie rights were sold in 1939.
Joseph Mitchell was the last living close relative of Margaret. He and his brother Eugene inherited a trust that gave each man a half share in the rights to their aunt’s famous novel.
Joseph was a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King Parish, the archdiocese said. He asked that part of his donation help the cathedral.
Archbishop Gregory has designated $7.5 million of the bequest be given to the cathedral’s building fund. He has assigned $1.5 million to Catholic Charities Atlanta for immediate use. Another $2 million will create an endowment fund for the long-term needs of the agency.
Joseph Krygiel, the CEO of Catholic Charities, said the agency is “extremely grateful” for the gift. He said the donation will allow Catholic Charities to expand services to new communities throughout North Georgia. [More]