Afton Lee Sr

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Afton M. Lee Sr (born c. 1896; died October 30, 1989) was a prominent businessman and land owner in the Birmingham District.

Lee was the son of Damon Lee, a former slave who settled in Rosedale in the 1890s. Damon became a wealthy man and upon his death Afton inherited large tracts of land in Rosedale, Center Point, and Riverchase.

Afton Lee ran Afton Lee Grocery, the grocery store founded by his father in Rosedale, most of his life, but he was also active beyond it. He helped revitalize the 4th Avenue black business district. In 1968, Lee became the first African American elected to the Homewood City Council.

Lee was married to Annie Bean Lee. Together the couple had six children, including Myrtle, Reginald, and Robert M.

Lee was struck on the head during a robbery of his grocery store in 1989 by Teddy Roberts, Jr and Bobby Grier. He was found in one of the store's coolers and died two hours later. Roberts and Grier were separately convicted and both sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Afton Lee Community Center was named in Lee's honor, as was the Afton Lee Award of the A. G. Gaston Conference Awards. On September 18, 2007, Lee was posthumously inducted into the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame.

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