Alabama Academy of Honor


William Douglas Arant

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1978.



William Douglas Arant, a well-known Birmingham attorney, was born May 19, 1897 in Waverly, Lee County, son of William Jackson and Emma (Baker) Arant. His early education was received in Alabama. After enlisting as a private in the United States Army, June 1918, he was assigned to the Field Artillery. He attended Officers Candidate Training School at Camp Taylor, Kentucky, and was commissioned second lieutenant in 1919.

He was graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor of science and master of science degrees on 1920 and received his law degree from Yale University magna cum laude in 1923. He was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and was instructor of political science during the summer terms. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1923 and in 1927 joined the firm of Tilman, Bradley and Baldwin, which has become Bradley, Arant, Rose and White.

Mr. Arant became special assistant to the United States Attorney General and chief counsel for the Petroleum Administation Board, National Recovery Administration, Washington, D.C. in 1933. In 1934, he served as chairman of the Regional Labor Board, Sixth District, National Recovery Administration, and in 1942 was the public member for the Fourth Regional Labor Board in Atlanta. Mr. Arant was also a member of the Board of Appeals, District Two, Alabama Selective Service System from 1940 to 1945.

His professional interest included memberships in the American Bar Association, and its Committee on Bill of Rights of which he was chairman the term 1941-1943; Alabama State Bar Association of which he was president in 1936 and a member of the Board of commissioners from 1931 to 1940; he was also a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, the American Law Institute, and a member of the Bar Association, City of New York. He was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Phi and the Order of the Coif.

Mr. Arant held office as president of the Birmingham Civic Symphony Association and president of the Birmingham Civic Opera Association. He was a member of the Distribution Committee of Greater Birmingham, foundation trustee of the Brook Hill School, the Eye Foundation, and member of the Board of Directors for Norton Center and Birmingham Southern College. He was a democrat and an Episcopalian.

He was married to the former Letitia Tyler McNeal and they have three children: Adele (Mrs. Richard J. Stockman, Jr.), Letitia Christian and Frances Fairlie. Mr. Arant is now deceased.