George G. Seibels, Jr (born July 16, 1913 in Coronado, California - died March 28, 2000 in Birmingham) was Mayor of Birmingham from 1967 to 1975 and represented Jefferson County in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1978 to 1990.
Seibels was the son of Rear Admiral George G. Seibels, a native of Montgomery, grandson of William Pettit, a former mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, and the great-grandson of George Goldthwaite, a chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and United States Senator.
Seibels grew up in Virginia. He earned a history degree at the University of Virginia in 1937. While there he was the intramural light-heavyweight boxing champion for three years, and after graduation, spent one year playing professional football for Richmond of the South Atlantic Professional League.
Seibels moved to Birmingham in 1938 to work in the insurance business. In December of 1941, he enlisted in the United States Navy and was commissioned an officer in 1942, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. He served on anti-submarine duty and on a combat minesweeper in the North African and Mediterranean Theatres, participating in the assault on Italy.
Returning to Birmingham after the war, Seibels co-chaired the traffic safety committee for the Birmingham Jaycees. The group was responsible for creating the neon safety torch over Vulcan's spear. The torch was dedicated on October 23, 1946 and glowed green until there was a traffic fatality in the city, after which it turned red for 24 hours as a warning to motorists. For their efforts, Birmingham won the Jaycees' National Safety Award for 1947. Since then the award has been named in Seibels' honor. Seibels was also involved in organizing Birmingham's first Veterans Day parade in 1948.
Seibels ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in 1962, but was elected to the Birmingham City Council in 1963. He defeated George Young to become Mayor in 1967, and successfully overcame Young's challenge to his re-election in 1971. As mayor he was an enthusiastic booster for city center reinvestment and proudly showed off his city to distinguished visitors. It was during his term that the Birmingham Terminal Station was demolished to clear the site for a large-scale federal office complex that was never built. He also helped nurture plans for the development of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. In 1975 challenger David Vann, with the support of Councilman Richard Arrington, attacked Seibels on the issue of police brutality. Vann won the election.
|Mayor of Birmingham|
- Archibald, John (November 29, 2009) "Archibald: Ranking the mayors of the past." Birmingham News