List of mayors of Birmingham, Alabama

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This is a list of mayors, or persons holding the equivalent office, of Birmingham, Alabama.

The office of mayor was established with the incorporation of Birmingham in 1871. Robert Henley was appointed by Governor, Robert B. Lindsay to a two-year term. Until 1910, the Mayor presided over an ever-expanding Board of Aldermen who generally campaigned on the same ticket. Progressive reformers lobbied for a change in the form of government that year, resulting in the creation of a five-member Board of Commissioners (later reduced to three members). The President of the Commission, though not formally holding the title, was widely acknowledged as "Mayor" under that system.[1]

In 1963, as part of another progressive effort, this time to unseat Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, the form of government was again changed by referendum. Reorganized under Alabama's Mayor Council Act of 1955, the city government consisted of a mayor and nine at-large City Council representatives. Changing demographics in the city's electorate led to the election of Birmingham's first African-American mayor, Richard Arrington Jr., in 1979.[2][3]

In 1989 a change was made to elect council members by district, with 4-year terms coming at the midpoint of the mayoral term (allowing sitting council members to campaign for the mayoral office without having to resign their seats).[4]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Carl V. (1977) Political Power in Birmingham, 1871-1921. Twentieth-Century America Series. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 0-87049-211-X
  2. ^ Casey, Ron (1979) "The Election of Birmingham's Black Mayor Archived 2010-07-15 at the Wayback Machine." Southern Changes: The Journal of the Southern Regional Council. Vol. 2, No. 3
  3. ^ Franklin, Jimmie Lewis (1989) Back to Birmingham: Richard Arrington, Jr., and His Times. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0435-5
  4. ^ Haeberle, Steven H. (1997) "Exploring the Effects of Single-Member Districts on an Urban Political System." Urban Affairs Review. Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 287-97

External links[edit]