Alabama Academy of Honor


Arthur Davis Shores

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1980.



Arthur Davis Shores, attorney and civic leader, was born September 25, 1905 in Jefferson County, Alabama. He received his A. B. degree from Talladega College in 1927. He attended the University of Kansas; LaSalle Extension and the University in Birmingham. He received his LL.B. in 1934. He was awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Law from Daniel Payne College in 1956 and Miles College in 1971. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975.

His memberships in professional organizations include the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Alabama Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association and the United States Supreme Court Bar Association. General memberships include the Presidents Club of Alabama, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Phi Theta Legal Fraternity, and he is a Thirty-third degree Mason, Knight of Phythias.

He has held numerous civic, fraternal and political offices. These include membership on the Housing Commission of the City of Birmingham, the Birmingham City Council, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson County and State Democratic Committees. At the time of his induction into the Academy, he was chairman of the Board of Trustees of Talladega College. He served on the Board of Directors of the A. G. Gaston Boys Club, Operation New Birmingham, the Birmingham Urban League, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights which was formed at the request of the President of the United States, the National Council of Christians and Jews, and the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1968,1972, and 1976 and serves as a member of the Judicial Commission for the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the appointment of President Carter.

In the Business field he is an Attorney at Law, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Service Association, Inc., Vice President and General Counsel for Citizens Federal Savings and Loan Association, General Counsel for Miles College, Talladega College, and the Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama. He is one of the founders and former board members of the National Bank of Commerce.

Religious affiliations include membership in the First Congregational Church where he serves as a Sunday School teacher and has served as Moderator. He has done extensive work as a Board of Homeland Ministeries, United Church of Christ. He attended the International Conference on Religion, Art and Architecture in Jerusalem in 1973.

Mr. Shores is listed in Who's Who in Commerce and Industry, Who's Who in American Politics, Who's Who in South and Southland, Who's Who in Negro America, Library of Alabama Lives, and the International Year Book & Stateman's Who's Who.

Mr. Shores has received many other awards and honors. In 1940 he was given the Southern Beauty Congress Award for Eminent Leadership in the Field of Civil Rights, and in 1948 the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Award for outstanding achievement in the field of Civil Rights. In 1954 the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity presented him the award for Outstanding Lawyer in the fight for Civil Rights. The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity presented the Alpha Medal of Honor in 1956 for Most Ordinary Distinguished and Meritorious Service in the Civil Rights Field. In 1960 he received the C. Francis Stradford Award of the National Bar Association, for Inspiration to Fellow Lawyers and Rich Contributions to the Legal Profession, and in 1965 the Cook County, Illinois Bar Association Award for Twenty-five years of Outstanding Service in the Legal Profession. In 1969 he received the National Newspaper Publishing Association's Russwurm Award for recognition of outstanding achievement and making possible a richer concept of Democratic Principles and Contributions for upholding those highest traditions considered as the ideal of the American Way of Life. In 1971 he received the Pioneer's Success Award from Jefferson State Junior College, in 1977 the Distinguished Service Award from the Black Lawyers Association and the United Church Board for Homeland Ministeries Award for Service. In 1979 he was given the Humanitarian Award by the National and Research Center and the Eddie Fisher Award by the Alabama Association of Colleges and Universities.

He is married to the former Theodora Helen Warren and has two daughters, Helen Flynn Lee and Barbara Sylvia Larkin.

Mr. Shores is recognized nationally as a great leader because of his participation in the integration of the University of Alabama and as the first black member of the Birmingham City Council.