Alabama Academy of Honor


Charles D. McCrary

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2009.



Charles D. McCrary is President and Chief Executive Officer of Alabama Power Company. McCrary was born in Birmingham in 1951 and grew up in Shades Valley. As a young man, he was fascinated with all things mechanical and spent his early years taking things apart and rebuilding and restoring them, especially old jukeboxes, a hobby he shared with his father.

After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University, McCrary accepted a job with the engineering department of Southern Services Company, the Southern Company subsidiary that supplies engineering services to its operating companies, including Alabama Power. But his association with the company actually started in 1970, when as a summer student, he took water samples on the Coosa River – the beginning of his lifelong interest in the environment, as well as a career.

McCrary earned his Juris Doctor from the Birmingham School of Law and was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1979. In 1982, he was made head of Alabama Power’s environmental compliance department, and during the next nineteen years held positions of increasing responsibility within Southern Company before being elected President and CEO in 2001.

McCrary has a strong sense of commitment to his state and community, especially regarding economic development and healthcare. He serves as chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and serves on the boards of Regions Financial Corporation, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., and Protective Life Corporation.

His commitment to improving the quality of healthcare for Alabamians is reflected in his service on the boards of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation and Southern Research Institute. His work as past chairman of Children’s Hospital board prepared the hospital to move forward with plans to build a new facility. His advocacy for children is further reflected in his service as a trustee of the Children First Foundation.

McCrary is a strong supporter of the arts, education, and history. He is a board member of the Birmingham Museum of Art and a trustee of Auburn University, where he chaired the 2006 presidential search committee. He is on the board of directors of the Alabama Archives and History Foundation and is a member of the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.

McCrary is married to the former Phyllis Brantley of Birmingham, and they are the parents of two sons, Doug and Alex.