Dr. Mel Steely was a History professor at the University of West Georgia from 1964 through 2004. He also worked as Newt Gingrich's congressional advisor from 1978 to 1992. He also worked with Newt Gingrich on his Earning by learning program, which was a reading program that paid inner city children two dollars for every book they read during their summer breaks. After Dr. Steely retired from teaching, he still continued to study American politics and history, and was a commentator on many political figures. In 1983, Dr. Steely started the Georgia Political Heritage Program (GPHP), and he started with the deposit of Newt Gingrich’s congressional papers. The GPHP was designed so the political leaders of Georgia’s valuable historical resources and memory are not lost to time. With the collection of these resources, it will be easier to retell the stories of Georgia’s political history. The GPHP had close connections with Georgia Speaker of the House, Thomas Murphy. In 2001, Dr. Steely was elected as the president of the Georgia/Florida Region, Historical Society.