Richard C. Shelby, 1934 -



Richard C. Shelby, 1934 -




Richard C. Shelby is the United States Senator from Alabama. The photo shows him in 1964.

In 1964, E.W. Skidmore resigned from the position of Tuscaloosa city prosecutor after holding the post for 27 years. Replacing him was a young upstart, Richard C. Shelby, 29 years old.

The City Commission appointed Shelby to the post on a part-time basis with plans to obtain a full-time employee in the future to be the city prosecutor and to work with city attorney Wagner Finnell in other phases of municipal legal work. Records show that Shelby held the position until 1971.

Shelby was born on May 6, 1934, in Birmingham to Alice L. Skinner Shelby and Ozie Houston Shelby. He was educated in the Jefferson County public school system and earned AB and LLB degrees from the University of Alabama. During 1961 and 1962, he was a law clerk for Justice James S. Coleman of the Alabama Supreme Court. In January, 1963, he became a partner with State Sen. William McCain in the law firm of McCain and Shelby in Tuscaloosa.

Shelby’s political career began when he was elected to the Alabama Senate in 1970 where he served until 1978 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Tuscaloosa-based 7th District.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in a close race in 1986 against Jeremiah Denton and was easily reelected in 1992. A conservative Democrat, Shelby switched to the Republican Party in 1994 and won reelection as a Republican in 1998. Shelby continues to serve in the Senate.

The Shelby Hall Center for Research on the University of Alabama campus is named in honor of Shelby and his wife Annette Shelby, professor emerita at the university, along with buildings at Auburn University, the University of South Alabama in Mobile, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A Tuscaloosa park at the corner of Queen City Avenue and 15th Street is named for Annette Shelby. The Shelbys are honored for their dedication to education in the state of Alabama.


Tuscaloosa News Archive


The Tuscaloosa News


Jan. 14, 1964


Betty Slowe (Description)






Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format