Alabama Academy of Honor


Clement Clay Torbert, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1979.



Chief Justice Clement Clay Torbert, Jr., was born in Opelika, Alabama, August 31, 1929, son of Clement C. Torbert and Lynda Meadows Torbert. He attended Opelika public schools and during the 1948-49, the United States Naval Academy. He received his bachelor's degree from Auburn University in 1951, and during 1952 studied law at the University of Maryland. In 1954 he graduated from the University of Alabama Law School.

He practiced law in Opelika from 1954 until 1977, and served as City Judge,1954-1959. An active member of the Lee County, the Alabama, and the American Bar Association, and the American Judicature Society, he has served as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Alabama State Bar.

Elected to the Legislature in 1958 as Representative of Lee County he was designated by the Capitol Press Corps as the Most Outstanding Freshman Legislator in 1959. He was elected to the State Senate representing Lee, Chambers and Randolph Counties in 1966, and was re-elected in 1970 and 1974. During the 1969 session he was designated Most Effective Senator by the Capitol Press Corps. During his legislative tenure he served as chairman of the Joint Highway Committee, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Code Revision; and vice-chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee. He was a member of the Citizens' Conference on Alabama State Courts.

During the Korean conflict he served with the U. S. Air Force, attaining the rank of captain.

He is married to the former Gene Hurt of Alabama, and they have three children: Mary Dixon, Gene Shealy, and Clement Clay, III. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Opelika.

On January 17,1977, Clement Clay Torbert, Jr., became the 25th Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court.