September 15, 2017 9:01 AM
Tommy Irvin was born the child of sharecroppers and went on to become the longest serving Agriculture Commissioner in United States History and the longest serving statewide elected official in the state of Georgia.
Irvin became Agriculture Commissioner in 1969 – the same year man first walked on the moon. He served until January 2011. Greg Bluestein of the AJC has a quote from the man who succeeded him, Commissioner Gary Black:
Irvin began his political career as a member of the Habersham County Board of Education in 1956. He served four terms in the Georgia House including a stint at the Governor’s Floor Leader prior to becoming the commissioner of Agriculture.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Commissioner Irvin’s family and friends.