Alabama Academy of Honor


Albert McKinley Rains

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1972.



Albert McKinley Rains was born on Sand Mountain in DeKalb County, Alabama, at the Post Office address of Grove Oak on March 11, 1902. He received his education in the DeKalb County Schools, Snead Seminary, Boaz, Alabama; Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama; and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

He was admitted to the Bar in 1928 and entered the practice of law in Gadsden, Alabama, as a member of the firm of Rains and Rains in January, 1929. He was City Attorney for the City of Gadsden and District Attorney for Etowah County. In 1940 he was elected to the Alabama Legislature where he was named the "outstanding member of the Legislature," in 1944 he was elected to the Congress of the United States where he served for twenty years representing the Fifth Congressional District. The last two years he was Congressman-at-Large for the State of Alabama. Mr. Rains voluntarily retired from the Congress in 1965.

In the House of Representatives Mr. Rains was the Chairman of the Special Housing Subcommittee, top ranking member of the House Committee on Banking and Currency and member of the Joint Committee on Defense Production. Mr. Rains was the author in the House of Representatives of much important legislation. Among them was the Public Law providing for the full development of the Coosa-Alabama River, also, an Act providing for the establishment of Alabama's only National Military Park which is located at Horseshoe Bend. In the House of Representatives, he wrote practically all of the legislation on housing, and is often referred to as "Mr. Housing, U.S.A."

His legislative proposals greatly expanded programs under the Federal Housing Administration, and millions of Americans own homes by virtue of his efforts. He, also, was the author of the legislation for College Housing which resulted in increased dormitory facilities on practically every college campus in America. Among other programs which bear his legislative imprint are Housing for the Elderly, the Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Programs, Nursing Homes, Military Housing, Rural Housing Programs, the Community Facilities Act; the first Mass Transit Bill, and numerous laws of benefit to Banks and Savings and Loan Association. Mr. Rains also served as the Democratic National Committeeman from Alabama.

While the chairman of an International Study Group on Historic Preservation sponsored by the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, Mr. Rains filed a report with the Ford Foundation which turned into a best selling book entitled With Heritage So Rich. As a result of this far-reaching and extensive study, the historic Preservation Act of 1966 was enacted by the United State Congress into law.

In his professional and business association, Albert Rains was active in the practice of law in Gadsden Alabama. He was also Chairman of the Board of the First City National Bank, Gadsden, Alabama; Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of Coosa Broadcasting Company of Gadsden, Alabama; vice president and a member of the Board of Directors of Guntersville Broadcasting company, Guntersville, Alabama; vice president and a member of the Board of Directors of Tallabama Broadcasting Company, Talladega, Alabama; member of the Board of Directors of Investors Mortgage Insurance Company, Boston, Massachusetts; and a Member of the Board of Directors of Republic Mortgage Investors, Miami, Florida.

Mr. Rains was married to the former Allison Blair of Centre, Alabama. He is now deceased.