Industrialist, Engineer, Corporate Executive
Lewis Martin Smith, a native of Warrior in Jefferson County, Alabama and a lifelong citizen of Birmingham, represents the finest characterization of his generation in his dedication to family, church, community, state, nation and so to all humanity. He dedicated his personal and professional life to the improvement of Alabama. Many of the procedures and activities that he initiated with his company and with the organizations he served have been continued with success that is reflected in the growing industrial and economic prosperity of Alabama.
He was a devout Christian, a Life Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent of Ensley Baptist Church. His civic activities ranged from District Governor of Rotary International to President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and to leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, Birmingham Historical Society, Civic Symphony Association and many others. He was Birmingham's Man of the Year in 1954.
His continuing interest in education had him serve as Trustee of Howard College/Samford University, heading the Alumnae Association of the University of Alabama and as President of the Birmingham Board of Education with a school named in his honor. He received Honorary Doctorates in Humanities and Science from Samford University and the University of Alabama.
After graduation in 1916, he began his professional career as an electrical engineer, serving the US Navy in World War I and later, the Electrical Department of Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. He associated with Alabama Power Company as a draftsman in 1923 and spent the remainder of his working life with that firm, rising steadily in responsibility until he became President and Vice Chairman of the Board.
His professional stature was recognized from the Board of Southern Research Institute and on the Committee on Atomic Energy of the Southern Association of Science and Industry; also as Chairman of the Committee on Commercial Uses of Atomic Energy of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
The depth and diversity of his activities demonstrate the wide range of his interests, his talents and his contributions.
Lewis Martin Smith was inducted into the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame in 1995.