Alabama Academy of Honor

Conrad Murphree Fowler

The following biographical sketch was created at the time of induction in 1981.

Conrad Murphree Fowler was born September 17, 1918, in Montevallo where his father, Luther J. Fowler, taught at Alabama College, later published the Shelby County Reporter, served as Tax Assessor, and as chairman of the Shelby County Board of Education. Graduating from the University of Alabama in 1941, where he had been a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Jasons, and the Crimson and White staff, he immediately entered the U. S. Marine Corps.

During World War II, Judge Fowler participated in the operations at Guadalcanal and in the assault landings on Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. He received the Silver Star with Gold Star in lieu of a second Silver Star and the Purple Heart and Gold Star. He was discharged from the regular Marine Corps in 1946 with the rank of major and served in the Marine Corps Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel.

Returning to the University of Alabama Law School, he received his Bachelor of Laws degree and practiced with Handy Ellis in Columbiana from 1948 to 1953. He was circuit solicitor for the 18th Judicial Circuit, 1953 to 1959, and served as a special prosecutor in the Phenix City Clean-Up in 1954. He also took the lead in closing gambling houses operating in Shelby County.

From 1959 to 1977 Judge Fowler served as Judge of Probate and Chairman of the Shelby County Commission. Under his leadership, Shelby County became the first county in the state to institute county-wide planning for private and governmental development. He was responsible for developing a new county government center. He served as president of the Alabama Association of Probate Judges in 1968, president of the Alabama Association of County Commissioners in 1970, and as president of the National Association of Counties during 1969 and 1970.

By appointment of President Lyndon Johnson he served on the Commission on Health Facilities; by appointment of President Johnson and Richard Nixon he served from 1967 to 1977 on the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. From 1970 to 1976 he served as chairman of the Alabama Constitution Commission. From 1973 to 1976 he served as chairman of the Alabama Committee for Humanities and Public Policy. He was also on the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee from 1970 to 1978.

Judge Fowler was active in the state and national Lung Association serving as president of the Alabama Association, 1968-69, and as president of the American Lung Association, 1981-82. He received the Heacock Medal Award at the annual meeting of the Alabama Lung Association in 1979 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Lung Association the same year.

He was Director of Public Affairs for West Point-Pepperel from January 1979 to March 1989, Judge Fowler served as a member of the board of directors of Associated Industries of Alabama and the Public Affairs Council. He was a member of the Public Affairs Committee of the Alabama and the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Associations.

He was an active member of the National Alumni Association of the University of Alabama; served as president of the Association in 1969; and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1992.

Judge Fowler wa an active member of the Methodist Church, having served as a delegate to the North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdictional, and General Conferences.

He married Virginia Evelyn Mott of Decatur, Georgia, June 15, 1945. They had two sons, Conrad Murphree Fowler, Jr., of Columbiana, and Randolph Mott Fowler of Tuscaloosa.

Judge Fowler died on January 1, 2007.