James C. Lewis
James Craiger Lewis (bornb February 4, 1922 in Birmingham; died January 4, 2017 in Birmingham) was a developer and contractor and founder of the Lewis Investment Company.
James, the son of Taylor Bright and Agnes Craiger Lewis, was raised in Birmingham and graduated from West End High School in 1940. He enrolled at the University of Alabama to study engineering, but left in 1942 to train as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. After training he served as a flight instructor and later flew B-29 bombers in the Pacific theater.
Lewis completed his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Alabama in 1949 and joined his brother in launching a successful manufacturing business. As an Air Force reservist, he was called back to active duty in the Korean War and served for two years in the USAF's Strategic Air Command. After his discharge he returned to Birmingham, married the former Mary Jennings Hatfield in 1950, and founded his own development and construction company in 1954.
In the late 1960s, Lewis changed his focus from residential land development to commercial construction. As a leader in the construction sector, Lewis served as president of the Greater Birmingham Association of Homebuilders and the Alabama Homebuilders Association and as a director of the National Association of Homebuilders. He was inducted into the Alabama Homebuilders Hall of Fame with the class of 1990.
In 1965 Lewis was one of the organizers and founding directors of the City National Bank of Birmingham and its holding company, Southland Bankcorp. He also served as a trustee of Cumberland College in Lebanon, Tennessee and as a member of the Capstone Engineering Society, the Newcomen Society, and the University of Alabama President's Council.
Lewis died in January 2017 and was survived by two children, Elizabeth and James and six grandchildren.