Alabama Academy of Honor


Frank P. Samford

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1969.



Frank Park Samford of Birmingham was born in Troy, Alabama on November 1, 1893, the son of a judge and a grandson of a governor (William J. Samford). After attending schools in Troy and Montgomery, he graduated in 1914 from Auburn University, where he was active in campus affairs.

Soon after his college graduation, he entered the life insurance business, first with the Manhattan Life Insurance Company of New York. State government service soon called, and he was named Deputy Insurance Commissioner when the Insurance Department of Alabama was created in 1915.

He was elected secretary-treasurer of the present Liberty National Life Insurance Company in 1921; vice president in 1932; president in 1934; and chairman of the board in 1960. He is also the director of a number of business firms and a past director of Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Mr. Samford has been active in civic and community affairs throughout his life and was a major support of Howard College in Birmingham. The school was renamed Samford University in his honor. Mr. Samford serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Samford University, and also is vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of Auburn University. He is a trustee of Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, a Director and past president of the Alabama State Chamber of Commere, and a member of the Board and past president of Associated Industries of Alabama.

In addition, he has been active in the Jefferson County Community Chest and the Alabama Hearth Association. He was chairman of the Fund Raising Campaign which secured the USS Alabama Battleship for Mobile in 1964.

Mr. Samford was designated "Man of the South" in 1958 by Dixie Business magazine. He received the Vulcan Award from the Birmingham Area Council of Boy Scouts in 1964, and was the recipient of he Gold Medal of Merit by Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1965. The Alabama Boardcasters Association named him their "Citizen of the Year" in 1965, and he was elected to the "Court of Honor" by the Alabama District Exchange Clubs in 1968.

Mr. Samford holds honorary degrees from Howard College of Birmingham and Auburn University.

He is married to the former Hattie Mae Noland, and they have two children, Frank P. Samford Jr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Upchurch.