A Statement on the Passing of A.D. “Pete” Correll

A.D. “Pete” Correll’s acceptance speech, with Dr. W. Todd Groce, following his
induction at the 2017 Trustees Gala in Savannah.

May 27, 2021, Savannah, Georgia – The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) and the GHS Board of Curators are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Alston D. “Pete” Correll and extend our deepest condolences to his wife Ada Lee and the entire Correll family.

“Pete Correll was an important figure in the history of Georgia,” said W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “His business and philanthropic contributions are so enormous that it will take decades for us to properly assess his impact as a businessman and philanthropist. So much of what we consider modern-day Georgia is the product of his leadership and generosity. During his tenure as Vice Chairman of the Georgia Historical Society he played a key role in our institutional growth and was poised to become Chairman next year. I will miss his humor and down-to-earth forthrightness. If you wanted to hear the truth, you asked Pete’s opinion. He was a giant.”

Correll was inducted by Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Historical Society in 2017 as a Georgia Trustee—the highest honor the State of Georgia can confer. He joined the GHS Board of Curators the following year and had served as Vice Chairman since July 2020. In 2019 Correll served as Atlanta Co-Chairman of the Georgia History Festival and with his fellow co-chairs raised more than $1.5 million for history education in Georgia. He and wife Ada Lee were also instrumental in establishing the endowment for the Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellows at the Georgia Historical Society and contributing to the renovation and expansion of the GHS Research Center in Savannah.

A native of Brunswick, Georgia, Correll served as CEO of Georgia-Pacific for 13 years. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation and served on the boards of the Georgia Aquarium and the Mother Nature Network, among many others. He received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Georgia and Master’s in Pulp and Paper Technology and Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine, as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Georgia and an honorary Doctor of Public Service from College of Coastal Georgia.

Pete Correll was larger than life. His smile, his laughter, and his generosity will be missed by everyone at GHS.