Al O'Brien

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Al O'Brien (born c. 1936 in Chicago, Illinois - died May 13, 2008 in Birmingham) was a painter known for working and displaying his paintings around the Storyteller fountain at Five Points South.

O'Brien, a college basketball player in Chicago, worked as a sportswriter for the Birmingham News from 1970 to 1974 and as a tennis pro at private clubs and at East Lake Park. In the 1980s he was briefly married to Libby Rich. He later penned a newsletter for the Birmingham Better Business Bureau and began selling paintings, mainly of local landmarks and street scenes, at the Five Points fountain. He was known as a friendly eccentric, happy to talk to anyone but sensitive to criticism of his work.

He died at UAB Hospital a day after calling 911 because of trouble breathing. He had no immediate family and left no will at the time of his death.


  • Diel, Stan (May 23, 2008) "Five Points South artist, former athlete Al O'Brien dies." The Birmingham News