Alabama Academy of Honor

Albert P. Brewer

Former Governor Albert P. Brewerserves as distinguished Professor of Law and Government at Samford University where he taught courses in Alabama Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, and Law Office Practice and Management in Samford's Cumberland School of Law. He received the Macon Award as Samford's Outstanding Teacher in 2001.

He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama where he assisted in organizing in 198. The Research Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group organized, directed, and financed to undertake objective research on state and/or local governmental issues. It has offices on the campus of Samford University.

He was born in Bethel Speings, Tennessee, but moved to Alabama at an early age. He was educated in the public schools of Decatur and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama. After graduating from law school, he returned to his hometown and began his law practice in 1952.

In 1954, he was elected to the House of Representatives and was reelected twice without opposition. During his third term he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1966, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, defeating three opponents in the Democratic primary without a runoff.

On May 7, 1968, he succeeded to the governorship after the death of Governor Lurleen Wallace. He was the only person who has held the three highest offices in the executive and legislative branches of our state government.

As Governor, he served on the Executive Committee of the National Governor's Conference and was Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a body comprised of the governors of 13 Appalachian states. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Southern Governors' Conference and as Chairman of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority. While he was Chairman of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority, it received its first construction funding from Congress.

Though he served as governor for only 32 months, his administration was marked by significant accomplishments:

Education - the largest increase in appropriations for public schools in Alabama history; the creation of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to coordinate the programs and funding of colleges and universities in Alabama; the creation of the Education Study Commission; a constitutional amendment to provide for the election of the members of the State Board of Education and the appointment by the Board of the State Superintendent of Education; and the equalization of school funding from the state to local school systems.

Highways - the construction of more miles of highways than any previous Alabama administration with emphasis on development of urban and interstate highways.

Ethics - creation by executive order of the first Ethics Commission, the forerunner of the present Ethics Commission.

Constitutional revision - creation of the Constitutional Revision Commission whose recommendations have served as the foundation for constitutional revision in Alabama.

Economic development - creation of the Alabama Development Office, a cabinet level department to coordinate planning and industrial development in Alabama bringing together all the agencies of state government involved in economic development.

After leaving the governor's office, Governor Brewer practiced law in Montgomery for several years before returning to his hometown of Decatur, where he practiced until he assumed his present responsibilities at Samford University.

He was the co-author of a book on Alabama constitutional law as well as numerous papers on legal subjects and on Alabama history and politics. He served as Chairman of the State Constitutional Law Project at Cumberland School of Law and is a member of the board of directors of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Automobile Association, Central Alabama Better Business Bureau, and the Alabama Center for Law and Civic Eudcation.

He was a member of the Alabama Academy of Honor and has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Clarence Darrow Award presented by the Alabama Bar Association, the Heacock Award presented by the Alabama Lung Association, the Silver Beaver Award presented by the Boy Scouts of America, and twice received the Award of Merit of the Alabama Bar Association for his service in two initiatives: one, as organizer and first chairman of the Alabama Capital Represtation Resource Center to recruit attorneys for indigent death row inmates and, two, as chairman of the Third Alabama Citizens Conference on Judicial Selection which recommended changing Alabama's method of selecting judges.

He was the recipient of honorary degrees from Samford University, Jacksonville State University, the University of Alabama, and the University of West Alabama.

His achievements in education have been recognized by the naming of several buildings in his honor at educational institutions in Alabama. He was especially proud of Albert P. Brewer High School in Morgan County, named for him by the Morgan County Board of Education.

Hewais married to the former Martha Farmer whom he met while both were students at the University of Alabama. They have two married daughters and three grandchildren.

Governor Brewer was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor on August 25, 1969.

Governor Brewer died on January 2017.