Oden is the son of Norman and Lettie Oden. He is a 1955 graduate of Woodlawn High School and attended Auburn University. He left after two years to work in New Mexico's oil fields, then joined the Army and spent three years in Hokkaido, Japan. He returned to complete his degree and joined the US Secret Service in 1964. He was detailed with the Kennedy family and later with President Lyndon Johnson and his family in Washington and Austin, Texas. After that he was assigned to the Birmingham field office and also opened a one-man station in Montgomery. He was promoted to Kansas City and later became Agent in Charge of the San Francisco office, then returned to Birmingham as Agent in Charge of the local field office and assigned as one of the service's first Sky Marshals.
In 1984 Oden was appointed U. S. Attaché and Special Agent in Charge of Overseas Operations, stationed in Paris. He spent four years in France before retiring. After returning to Birmingham he was made a Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Security for AmSouth Bank. He retired from that position in 1998 and started a security consulting firm.
Oden became a member of the Mountain Brook City Council in 1992. After serving his four-year term, he ran unopposed for Mayor of Mountain Brook in 1996 and was re-elected without opposition in 2000. In 2004 he was re-elected over two challengers, garnering 60.5% of the vote. Oden ran unopposed for a fourth term in 2008.
Oden is chairman of Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, and is working to build a regional E-911 system. He serves as a member of the Progress 280 Task Force and as vice-chairman of the regional jail authority.
Oden and his wife Sandra have two daughters, Christie and Mary.
|Mayor of Mountain Brook|
- Carns. (2004). Alabama House Joint Resolution 479 .
- "Oden, Williams remain in office." (August 25, 2004). The Birmingham News
- Thornton, William (July 15, 2008) "Mountain Brook Mayor Terry Oden, 71, seeking fourth term." Birmingham News
- "Lawrence Terry Oden '55" (February 1, 2011) Tatler Vol. 1, No. 1