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Just Call Her 'Amazing Grace'
February 28, 2005

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Columnist Ed Grisamore of The Macon Telegraph recently featured Mercer Law Alumn Nancy Grace.
Posted on Monday, Feb. 28, 2005

Just call her 'Amazing Grace'

Telegraph Columnist

A few years ago, there was a television comedy every Tuesday night on ABC called "Grace Under Fire."

It seemed as if all of Macon watched that show, which aired for six seasons from 1993-98. We watched not only because it was funny but because we discovered we had a connection.

Actress Brett Butler, who starred in the role of Grace, lived in Macon in the late 1970s. In fact, her job here was a circulation district manager for The Telegraph, the first woman ever hired for that position.

Now, we've got another local "Grace" on the national radar screen.

She has her own radio show, "Rapid Fire With Nancy Grace," on Clear Channel. But she's got plenty of fires burning other places, too.

Yes, the stage for Macon's own Nancy Grace just keeps getting wider and wider. She has become a regular on Court TV and as a frequent guest host for Larry King on CNN.

Last week, she debuted with her own regular show, "Nancy Grace" on CNN Headline News, where it will air weeknights at 8 p.m.

Nancy is one of the nation's most highly respected legal analysts. And, as we know, America is more than slightly obsessed with courtroom trials - from O.J. Simpson to Scott Peterson to Kobe Bryant to Michael Jackson.

She certainly won't have to worry about running out of topics to discuss.

To her credit, Nancy has never forgotten her Middle Georgia roots. She is a graduate of Macon's Windsor Academy and a product of Mercer's law school. Her parents, Mac and Elizabeth Grace, still live here.

She served as grand marshal of last year's Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and was the keynote speaker at Mercer's Executive Forum in April. Last May, in her role as anchor for Court TV's "Closing Arguments," Grace was in Perry covering the murder trial of Lynn Turner, an Atlanta woman who was convicted of fatally poisoning her husband.

Motivated by the killing of her fiance in 1980, and inspired by the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," Grace gave up her dream of becoming an English teacher and dedicated her life to becoming a prosecutor and victims-rights advocate.

After graduating from Mercer's Walter F. George School of Law, she eventually landed a job with Fulton County District Attorney's Office in Atlanta, where she became a daring inner-city lawyer in the heart of the nation's murder capital.

Grace became the first female special prosecutor in the office of longtime District Attorney Lewis Slaton. A decade's work produced more than 10,000 guilty pleas. She compiled a perfect record of nearly 100 felony convictions. She never lost a trial.

She also became a darling of the media. Stephen Brill offered her a job as a sparring partner with O.J. Simpson's lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, on a legal affairs show called "Cochran & Grace" on Court TV.

So, Jan. 6, 1997, she packed her clothes, a curling iron and $200 in savings and left for New York.

Now, she has appeared on everything from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to "The Today Show" to "Good Morning America." In April, her first book, "Objection!" will be published.

Macon should be proud of its native daughter.