ALBERT BREWER, MANAGER, 1944-45; GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA
A large number of Shorty’s Boys graduated from Decatur High School where they learned under the leadership of Coach how to live and how to make a living. We became doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, ministers, managers, production specialists, coaches, military servicemen, accountants, scientist, and entrepreneurs.
One, Albert Brewer, became the governor of the great State of Alabama in 1968. Albert’s family had moved to Decatur from Bethel Springs, Tennessee in 1935. Albert and his two younger brothers, Joe and Harry, attended Riverside High School in Decatur during the years 1943-45. Joe and Harry were outstanding football players. No one tried any harder than Albert to make the team, but he was too small. His playing position was guard but later he became one of the football managers.
Albert became governor of the State of Alabama May 7, 1968. He was recognized as an effective leader by national organizations. He served on the Executive Committee of the National Governor’s Conference, was chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, vice-president of the Southern Governor’s Conference, and chairman of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority. In his farewell address to the state legislature, Albert summed up his years as governor as a time of “peace and progress.” After leaving office, he practiced law in Montgomery and Decatur.
He became associated with Samford University as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government in 1987 and was a founder and the first executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama in 1988. Over the years, he taught Alabama history to undergraduates and constitutional law and other courses to students of Samford’s Cumberland School of Law. He recently was recognized for his role in the constitutional reform movement by the University of Alabama College of Constitution and Information Sciences, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
Coach said of Albert, “He was the scrappiest player on the squad. He was much too light to be playing.” Albert was small on the football field but he was big in life. He proved this as he grew from a 130 pound guard/manager to become one of the best governors to serve the State of Alabama.
Albert is active in Shorty’s Boys fellowship. He drives from Birmingham to attend the meetings. He spoke to the group in January 2008 – great memories from a good man.
He was married to the late Martha Farmer. They have two children, Allison and Rebecca.