James Sulzby Jr

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James Frederick Sulzby Jr (born December 4, 1905 in Birmingham - died October 27, 1988 in Birmingham) was a historian, musician and realtor.

Sulzby was born to James and Anne Dobbins Sulzby. He had three brothers, George D. Sulzby, Thomas D. Sulzby and William D. Sulzby.

Sulzby attended Howard College and graduated from Birmingham-Southern, which he later served as president of the national alumni association. He went to work for the First National Bank of Birmingham in 1929 and completed a certificate from the American Banking Institute in 1934.

During the 1930s he directed the Southside Baptist Church concert orchesta, a 30-member group which formed the nucleus of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he later served as a board member. In 1935 he married the former Martha Belle Hilton, with whom he had two children, Martha and James III.

Sulzby left First National in 1943 to found the Sulzby Realty Company with his brother, Thomas. He served as director for the Birmingham Area Board of Realtors, the Alabama Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. He also served on the Birmingham Planning Commission, the American Planning and Civic Association Board and the Personnel Board of Jefferson County.

Beginning in the 1940s, Sulzby published several books on local history. In 1946 he served as the official historian for Birmingham's 75th Anniversary.

He also served Southside Baptist as a deacon for 60 years and treasurer for 40. He wrote the Annals of the Southside Baptist Church in 1947. He also chaired the Jefferson County Polio Foundation and the local March of Dimes campaign for several years.

Sulzby founded the Alabama Historical Association in 1947 and was its first president. He served on the Birmingham-Jefferson County Historical Commission, and also served on the advisory council for the Civil War Centennial Commission and the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Commission. The AHA named their annual book award in his honor.

Sulzby earned numerous recognitions, including the Birmingham-Southern College Distinguished Alumnus Award and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Samford.

Upon his death, Sulzby's funeral was held at Southside Baptist with eulogies by Neal Berte and Thomas Corts. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and children.


  • Sulzby, James F. (1944) Birmingham as it Was in Jackson County, Alabama. Birmingham: Oxmoor Press.
  • Sulzby, James F. Jr (1945) Birmingham Sketches From 1871 Through 1921. Birmingham: Birmingham Printing Company
  • Sulzby, James F. (1947) Annals of the Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1886-1936. Birmingham: Birmingham Printing Company.
  • Sulzby, James F. (1949) Blount Springs: Alabama's Foremost Watering Place of Yesteryear. Birmingham.
  • Smith, Algernon L. with James F. Sulzby, editor (1952) The Story of Continental Gin Company 1900-1952. Birmingham: Continental Gin Company.
  • Sulzby, James F. (1960) Historic Alabama Hotels and Resorts. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
  • Sulzby, James F. (1961) Arthur W. Smith, a Birmingham Pioneer, 1855-1944. Birmingham: Oxmoor Press.
  • Sulzby, James F. (1986) Toward a History of Samford University. 2 volumes. Birmingham: Samford University Press.