Foots Parnell

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Leighton Calhoun "Foots" Parnell III is a commercial mortgage banker and philanthropist.

Parnell is the son of obstetrician and gynecologist L. C. "Foots" Parnell and his wife, the former Mary Sue Sewell. He graduated from Mountain Brook High School. Following in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather Joe Sewell, Parnell played college baseball at the University of Alabama, and earned a degree in economics.

Parnell was president of Byars & Company from 1988 to 2008 before the company was sold to the Alabama National BanCorporation. Parnell became a senior vice president in the Birmingham office of RBC Capital Advisors which was already in the process of acquiring Alabama National. By 2015 Parnell was the managing member of Interfirst Capital LLC.

In 1984 Parnell donated a building to the City of Montevallo for use as a library. It was named Parnell Memorial Library in honor of his parents. When the library moved to a new building, the Parnell family made another substantial donation. The library's "Parnell Room" houses the family's collection of military and southern history, and serves as a boardroom. In 2006 Parnell was named one of six "Men of Substance and Style" by Saks Fifth Avenue for an event benefitting prostate cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was named King of the 2015 Beaux Arts Ball.

Parnell and his wife Allene had two daughters. The eldest, Carleton, died of cancer in 2002, prompting her father to devote much of his life to helping others with cancer. Parnell has served on the board of Children's Harbor and is currently co-chair of the campaign to establish a radiation oncology facility at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through the influence of their younger daughter, Allene Neighbors, they have been active in supporting PreSchool Partners, which helps to prepare at-risk children going into kindergarten in Birmingham City schools.

The Parnells are members of Independent Presbyterian Church. They reside on Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook and have a hunting cabin near Maplesville.


  • Interview with Foots Parnell (Spring-Summer 2006) UAB Cancer Center Magazine.
  • "Parnell Memorial Library" (February 20, 2007) The Birmingham News
  • Markham, Madoline (January 23, 2015) “ Foots Parnell to reign at Krewe Ball”. Village Living
  • Cornelius, Donna (January 26, 2015) "King and Country." Over the Mountain Journal