Alabama Academy of Honor


Yetta Glenn Samford, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2002, and updated in April 2014.



Yetta G. Samford, Jr., is a native of Opelika, Alabama, having been born there on June 8, 1923. He received his grammar and high school education in Opelika.

Mr. Samford attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute from which institution he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1947. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, he entered the Law School of the University of Alabama. This institution graduated him with an LL.B. degree in 1949 and awarded an honorary LL.D. degree to him in 1995.

He answered his country's call to arms during World War II as a B-17 Pilot in the United States Army Air Corps.

Yetta G. Samford, Jr., was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1949; U.S. District Court Middle District of Alabama 1949; U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit 1961; U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit 1981. He was a practicing attorney in Opelika, Alabama and a former member of the Executive Council of the Alabama Law Institute.

Mr. Samford was a Director of Torchmark Corporation, West Point Pepperell, Inc., and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Farmers National Bank of Opelika.

He was a deacon and an active member of the First Baptist Church of Opelika.

Mr. Samfordwas a life trustee of the University of Mobile and a trustee emeritus of the University of Alabama.

He served in the Alabama Senate during 1958-62, representing Lee and Russell Counties. He was a director and member of the Executive Committee, Business Council of Alabama in 1985, and a director of the Alabama State Chamber of Commerce from 1963 to 1985. He was a member of the Alabama Board of Corrections 1969-75 and a member of the Alabama State Docks Advisory Board 1987 to 2000.

Yetta Samford was married to the former Mary Austill, and they were the parents of a son (deceased) and two daughters.

Yetta Samford passed away on December 28, 2013.