Published on July 1, 2024 by Michael Morgan  
Hall Of Fame

A trailblazing computer scientist, an accomplished historian, and an outstanding businessman will formally join the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony Sept. 17 at The Club in Birmingham.

A glimpse at the three inductees:

Clyde Foster (1931–2017) was born in Birmingham and educated in the public school system. Upon graduation from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville in 1954, Foster was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served two years — one year stateside and the other in Germany. After returning home to Alabama, he began his career teaching science in the Dallas County School System.

Foster returned to the Huntsville area upon accepting a position with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency as a mathematician technician. He transferred to NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960, becoming one of only about a dozen African Americans working in a technical field within the space program. One of his culminating roles was working on the Apollo missions. In nearly 30 years at NASA, Foster played a significant role in diversifying NASA and helping transform Huntsville into a desirable and progressive place to live and work.

From 1968-1970, Foster was placed on loan from NASA to Alabama A&M as director of the Computer Science department to establish a data processing laboratory and an undergraduate degree program in computer science. Foster's landmark computer science center enabled students to earn the first computer science degree offered in Alabama.

In civic affairs, Foster was instrumental in reestablishing the Triana, Alabama, town charter and served as the mayor for 20 years. He also served a 14-year tenure on the Alabama Commission on Higher Education ending in 1988. Foster was a champion of public education and played an integral role in forming the independent Madison City School System. Across his lifetime, Foster received many awards and honors. The Clyde Foster Auditorium at Alabama A&M bears his name in recognition of the impact of his life.


Milo Barrett Howard Jr. (1933–1981) served as the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s fourth director from 1967 until he died in 1981. Howard is remembered as a consummate Southern gentleman with an encyclopedic memory, revered for advancing the cause of historic preservation in Alabama, both as the inaugural State Historic Preservation Officer and as co-founder of the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery.

Born and raised in Montgomery, a love of history was instilled in Howard by his mother and grandmother. Howard graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and continued his studies at Auburn University where he triple majored in history, English and foreign languages and graduated in 1955. During college, Howard took a summer job with the Alabama Department of Archives and History that impacted his future. Howard continued working at the Archives through the remainder of his undergraduate studies.

 He then served for two years with the U.S. Army Reserves, achieving the rank of lieutenant and specializing in military intelligence. After his discharge, Howard returned to Auburn to pursue a master's degree in history. His part-time work at the Archives resumed and in 1958 he was hired by the agency's director, Peter Brannon, in a full-time archival position. When Brannon died in January 1967, the Archives Board of Trustees immediately designated Howard as the agency's fourth director. His directorship lasted for the rest of his life and was marked by observances of the Alabama Sesquicentennial in 1969 and the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

Owing to the dozens of historic lectures he delivered across Alabama, Howard was renowned as a man of great intellect, exceptional memory and wise counsel. His profile was further elevated through the receipt of such honors as the 1968 Montgomery Junior Chamber of Commerce's Distinguished Service Award, and receiving an honorary doctorate in 1978 from Livingston University, now the University of West Alabama.


Marvin L. Mann (1933–2022) was born in Springdale, Alabama, and is remembered for his impact on business, community service and philanthropy. As a first-generation college student who often hitchhiked to campus, he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting, economics and office management from Samford University, then Howard College. Mann subsequently served in the U.S. Navy, and after being honorably discharged, earned a master’s degree in marketing and economics from the University of Alabama.

In 1958 Mann joined IBM as vice president. After serving 32 years at IBM, he is particularly remembered for his key role in developing the Universal Product Code alongside major retailers and manufacturers. Since its introduction in 1974, this familiar barcode symbology has been used worldwide for tracking trade items in stores. At IBM, Mann served as general manager of the IBM typewriter business, laying the foundation for the development of products ranging from typewriters to computer printers. As president of the IBM Information Products Division, he led the development and manufacturing of typewriters, printers, copiers, ATMs and numerous other banking systems used worldwide.

After retiring from IBM in 1991, Mann worked with the private equity firm Clayton,

Dubilier & Rice in the purchase of IBM's desktop printer and typewriter business. Additionally, Mann served as president and chief executive officer of the Satellite Business Systems Company, a large partnership of IBM, Aetna Casualty, and the Communications Satellite Corporation. Satellite Business Systems is a communications company that places satellites into space and enables the expansion of wireless networks. Mann went on to become chairman, chief executive officer and investor in Lexmark International, which became a “highly competitive, high growth” computer printer company that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2010, Mann retired as chairman emeritus of Lexmark.

Mann was named Alumnus of the Year at Samford University and became the first recipient of the university's Ethics-in-Business Award — later named the Marvin Mann Ethics-in-Business Award. He received an honorary Doctor of Commerce from Samford. Mann continued to support academics and serve both Samford University and the University of Alabama in many ways. After his retirement, Lexmark created a $250,000 scholarship fund in Mann's name. In addition to many other financial gifts to Samford, Mann’s estate awarded $100 million toward student scholarships and to support the Francis Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. This bequest ranks as the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the state of Alabama.


The Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony luncheon is set for Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. at The Club in Birmingham. For information and reservations, call 205-706-1289.

Founded by the state legislature in 1987, the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame recognizes men “whose lives have impacted the state, nation, and world.” Honorees must have been deceased for two years. Hall board members represent Alabama's seven congressional districts. The Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham sponsors the program. The Hall of Fame is located on the third floor of Samford University’s Harwell Goodwin Davis Library. The Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame is located at the University of West Alabama in Livingston.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.