Alabama Academy of Honor


Louis J. Willie, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1986, 2002, and 2008.



Fort Worth, Texas, is where Louis Willie was born on August 22, 1923.

Louis Willie attended Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas, and was graduated there in 1939. He continued the pursuit of a higher education, earning a B.A. degree in economics from Wiley College, an M.B.A. degree from the University of Michigan, and a C.L.U. designation from the American College of Underwriters.

Mr. Willie was married to the former Yvonne Kirkpatrick of Pembroke, Bermuda. They are the parents of one son, Louis J. Willie III, and they have one grandson.

Louis Willie spent three years as an instructor in the business division of Tennessee State University in Nashville. Before coming to Birmingham, he was office manager for two years at McKissick Brothers, Inc., in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mr. Willie retired from Booker T. Washington Insurance Company in 1994 as President and CEO of the company. From 1957 to 1988 he was Secretary before becoming President of Citizens Federal Savings Bank until his retirement. He served on several boards including AmSouth Bank, N.A. of Birmingham; Alabama Power Company, and the Southern Company. He was a member of the Board of directors of the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and served as its Chairman one year.

He received numerous awards for his civic and community work, among them the National Conference of Christian and Jews and the Greater Birmingham Area Community Service Award.

As an Episcopalian, he served in many capacities. His most recent was as a vestryman at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham.

Mr. Willie died on September 16, 2007.