Alabama Academy of Honor


Richard C. Shelby

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2005.



Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior United States Senator, was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Prior to that, he served eight years in the Alabama Legislature and four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as a City Prosecutor in Tuscaloosa, U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama, and Special Assistant to the Attorney General in Alabama. A fifth generation Alabamian, Senator Shelby is a graduate of the University of Alabama's undergraduate and law programs.

In the 109th Congress, Senator Shelby serves as Chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee which has oversight of the operation and regulation of our nation's financial markets, urban transit programs, and housing markets. In this position, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to restoring the American people's trust in our capital markets and has advocated transparency, accountability, and honesty from corporate America. As part of the reauthorization of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Senator Shelby fought for language that allows every American to receive a free annual credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus. This important right gives consumers the ability to keep track of their personal financial information and helps to guard against identity theft. The Banking Committee also passed the American Dream Downpayment Act, a law that will provide $400 million for low-income, first-time home buyers.

Senator Shelby serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and recently assumed the chairmanship of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Economic Development Authority (EDA), the National Science Foundation, (NSF), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Departments of Commerce and Justice among others. In addition, he is a member of the Special Committee on Aging. He previously served as Chairman of the Transportation, Treasury, and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, and in that capacity was successful in nearly doubling the amount of federal highway funds that Alabama received for important infrastructure projects.

From 1995 to 2003, Senator Shelby served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and worked with other committee members to provide oversight of the intelligence community. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Senator Shelby served diligently to investigate the intelligence failures that led to those attacks. While on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Shelby served as Chairman from 1997 to 2001.

Senator Shelby has received countless awards for his outstanding record on business, economic, family, and senior issues. He and his wife Annette have two sons, Richard Jr. and Claude Nevin. Claude and his wife Lisa have two children, a daughter Anna Elizabeth and a son William Nevin.