Alabama Academy of Honor


Robert Ervin Luckie, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2000 and 2007.



Robert Luckie was an Alabama native and longtime Birmingham resident, where he reared his family and established himself as arguably the leading figure in Alabama's advertising industry.

Luckie formed his own company, Robert Luckie & Company in 1953. In 1964, he changed the name to incorporate John Forney's name, subsequently operating as Luckie & Forney, Inc., for years Alabama's largest advertising agency.

From a minor-league start, the agency is credited with introducing in Alabama big-league talent in print advertising, television, marketing skills and graphic arts. After John Forney's retirement, and subsequent death, the agency since 1995 has operated as Luckie & Company, among the state's largest and best-known.

Luckie received wide recognition for his business and professional accomplishments. He was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor, which was created by the State Legislature to honor and recognize living Alabamians for outstanding accomplishment and service.

He was selected as one of six charter members of the Kiwanis Club's Birmingham Business Hall of Fame.

Luckie received the distinguished honor of being inducted into the University of Alabama's Communication Hall of Fame.

In 1967, Luckie received Birmingham-Southern's Distinguished Alumni Award. His alma mater also awarded him an Honary Doctor of Laws degree, and in 1997 the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented him with an Honory Doctor of Humanities degree.

He served on numerous boards and as president of many of Birmingham's high-profile institutions. He was a past president of The Country Club of Birmingham, The Club, the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, and the Metropolitan Development Board, of which he was also a founding board member.

Luckie was a past director of SouthTrust Bank of Alabama, BlueCross and BlueShield of Alabama, Alabama Motorists Association, and also served on the President's Council at UAB.

He was a current trustee of Birmingham-Sounthern College; also a member of the Mountain Brook Library Foundation board; the University of Alabama College of Communication board; and a founding member of the UAB School of Nursing's Board of Visitors.

Luckie was a former co-chairman of the Jefferson County United Appeal, and was Alabama chairman of Radio Free Europe in 1964. He was a former president of the National Advertising Agency Network, the Birmingham-Southern National Alumni Association and the Jefferson County Anti-Tuberculosis Association.

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Communications and subsequently a Press Officer. During one tour of duty, he served on the staff of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz as Assistant Pacific Fleet Press Officer.

He was a former Birmingham Ad Club "Advertising Man of the Year," and a recipient of the American Advertising Federation and Printer's Ink "Silver Medal Award."

He held several offices on the official board at Canterbury Methodist Church. He was a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, where he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and the Kappa Alpha Order.

Luckie started his career in the communications field as a reporter and later an advertising staffer at the Birmingham News.

His late wife, a Tuscaloosa native, was Lois Drolet. They had four children: Katherine (Mrs. Andrew Shackleford), Robert Luckie, III, Anne (Mrs. Trotter Cobb) and Thomas G. Luckie. He was born in Clanton, Alabama, May 1917.

He was fiercely proud of being a Southerner, and particularly a native Alabamian.

Robert Luckie died on February 28, 2007.