William Cecil Bauer (born November 12, 1916 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana - died June 11, 2007 at St Catherine's Village, Mississippi) was a former president of South Central Bell, responsible for operations in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He was also a national president of the Telephone Pioneers of America and founded and chaired Birmingham's Community Affairs Committee in 1969. That group brought together 80 leaders from across racial divisions to discuss race relations and is continued as part of Operation New Birmingham.
Bauer earned his engineering degree from Louisiana State University and began working for Southern Bell as a lineman. He served for four years in the U. S. Army signal corps, earning the rank of Captain. Back in civilian life, he rose through the ranks of management at South Central Bell and was instrumental in the company's decision to build its headquarters in Birmingham in 1965. An active civic and community leader, Bauer put together the Community Affairs Committee in 1969 to help ease racial tensions in the newly desegregated city.
Bauer served on the Boards of Directors for Vulcan Materials, SouthTrust Bank, Brookwood Medical Center, Liberty National Life Insurance, and the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He also served as president of the Birmingham Division of the American Cancer Society, chair of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Festival of Arts and was once selected as Birmingham Man of the Year.
In 1978 Bauer was promoted to president, serving until his retirement. He and his wife, Jean, retired to the Jackson, Mississippi area. He involved himself in genealogical research during his retirement. He was survived by his wife and several nieces and nephews.
- Williams, Roy L. (June 15, 2007) "Alabama Business". Birmingham News.
- "William Cecil Bauer" obituary. (June 14, 2007) Birmingham News.