Alabama Academy of Honor


Robert Chalmers Bamberg, Jr.

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



Robert Chalmers Bamberg, Jr. ("Red"), director of the Alabama Development Office and member of the Governor's cabinet for eight years, was born in Bibb County on December 11, 1911. He had an agricultural background, having grown up on a farm. "Red" graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1940 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture.

From July, 1936, until August, 1938, Bamberg was assistant county farm agent in Butler County and from October, 1940, until July,1942, he served in Dallas County as county farm agent.

In July of 1942, Mr. Bamberg entered the Armed Forces as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He saw service in the campaigns of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy and also in the Pacific Theatre where he participated in the conquest of Okinawa. He was separated from the service in 1946, having been promoted to captain.

After leaving the service, Mr. Bamberg returned to his pre-war position as county agent in Dallas County. He held this until January,1949, when he resigned to operate a farm which he had purchased near Uniontown.

In 1958, Red Bamberg was elected to the office of Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries for the State of Alabama. In this capacity, he worked toward presening Alabama's cotton acreage allotments, provided leadership for building a Swine Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and supported legislation which would enable establishment of a beef promotion program.

President John F. Kennedy appointed Bamberg to the Advisory Board of the Commodity Credit Corporation, United State Department of Agriculture. President Kennedy also appointed him to the National Cotton Advisory Countil Committee, 1961-63. U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman appointed him to the State Committee of the Agricultural Stabilization and Consenation Service,1963-64.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Bamberg State Director of the Farmers Home Administration, a position held until January 1, 1969. One of the contributions which Mr. Bamberg made was to assist many groups in the development of central rural water systems.

Appointed by Governor George C. Wallace, Mr. Bamberg served as a director of the Alabama Development Office from January 1971 until January 1979. During the years of his leadership, the total capital investment announced by new and expanding industry averaged nearly $1.4 billion a year. While serving in this capacity, Bamberg was also appointed as Alternate State Member of the 13-State Appalachian Regional Commission.

In addition, he was a member of the Auburn Alumni Association, the National Association of State Development Agencies, and the Industrial Developers Association of Alabama. Other memberships included: Alabama Farm Bureau, State Cotton Council, Perry County Farm Bureau (former president), Sheep Growers Association (former state president), and Alabama Cattlemen's Association (former Director at Large). He also served as chairman of the South Alabama Cancer Drive.

Mr. Bamberg was an honorary member of Gamma Sigma Delta, national honorary agriculture fraternity. He was on the Presidential Advisory Council of Marion Institute and served on the Board of Trustees of Auburn University, at one time being elected vice-chairman.

On May 28, 1946, Mr. Bamberg married the former Olivia Barnes, and they had one son, Robert Chalmers Bamberg, III. Mr. Bamberg is now deceased.