Editorial writer and columnist for the Atlanta Constitution for nearly 25 years, known mainly for his
Uncle Remus stories, written in the dialect of middle Georgia and coastal Georgia slaves.
As a printer's devil on the Turnwold plantation of Joseph Addison Turner, he learned literature and writing. He also heard from black storytellers Uncle George Terrell, Old Harbert, and Aunt Crissy, animal stories where cleverness could triumph over a world of cruelty and brute force.
These stories he would later publish in eight volumes of Uncle Remus stories, singlehandedly preserving and making internationally famous the Brer Rabbit folktales, the largest body of African-American oral folklore ever collected.
The stories of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox would influence many writers, including Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Beatrix Potter and A. A. Milne.
As a journalist for the Atlanta Constitution, he promoted racial tolerance after the Civil War.