Alabama Academy of Honor


Thomas Seay Lawson

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1974 and 2002.



Thomas Seay Lawson, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama (Retired) and a Life Trustee of the University of Alabama, was born in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1906. He was a graduate of Davidson Collece and the University of Alabama Law School. "Buster" Lawson, as he was known, entered the practice of law in Greensboro in 1929, and moved to Montgomery in 1931 when he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General. He was barely 32 years old when in 1938 he was elected Attorney General of Alabama and, in the same year, elected to the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. In 1942 he was elected Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Shortly thereafter, he volunteered for military service and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Navy, being stationed first in Washington D. C. and then in combat aboard the USS Massachusetts where he saw service at Peleliu, both battles of the Philippine Sea, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other Pacific Theater operations. After being elected to five successive six-year terms, he retired from the Supreme Court in 1972. He served for thirty-eight years as a Trustee of the University of Alabama and was President Pro Tempore of the Board for a decade. The University confered upon him a Doctor of Humane Letters degree and Davidson College awarded him its Alumni Citation for Accomplishments in the Field of Law. Judge Lawson is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Delta Phi, and an honorary member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He also served as a commissioner of the National Commission of Digestive Diseases of the National Institute of Health, was the first President of the Alabama Law School Foundation and was the recipient of a Brotherhood Citation at the first Annual Brotherhood Lunceon of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Alabama Chapter.

Thomas S. Lawson died September 2, 2002.