Joe Farley

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Joe Farley

Joseph McConnell Farley (born October 6, 1927 in Birmingham; died May 24, 2010) was an attorney and president of the Alabama Power Company from 1969 to 1989, and of the Southern Nuclear Operating Company until his retirement in 1992.

Farley attended Birmingham-Southern College and earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Princeton University in 1948. He also attended graduate school in business at the University of Alabama and earned a law degree at Harvard Law School in 1952. He was commissioned an officer in the U. S. Navy.

In 1952 Farley joined the Birmingham firm of Martin, Turner, Blakey and Bouldin and had his name added to the nameplate within five years. In 1965 he was recruited to Alabama Power as an executive vice president and succeeded to the presidency four years later.

In 1989 Farley stepped down in order to oversee the creation of a nuclear subsidiary for Southern Company, and served as its first CEO and chairman. He also chaired the board of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators and the American Nuclear Energy Council. The Farley Nuclear Plant, constructed between 1970 and 1981 in Houston County, is named for him.

While at Alabama Power, Farley served as president of the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club of Birmingham. He also chaired the board of directors for the Alabama Children's Hospital Foundation and Southern Research Institute and served on the boards of the Alabama Symphony Association and Tuskegee University.

After his retirement he returned to Balch & Bingham as counsel to the firm. President George W. Bush appointed him to his transition team as an advisor on energy issues in 2001.

Farley was widowed when his wife, Sheila, died 1978, leaving him with three children. He attended the Cathedral Church of the Advent and served as treasurer, vestryman and senior warden. He is buried at Elmwood Cemetery.

Preceded by:
Walter Bouldin
CEO of Alabama Power Company
Succeeded by:
Elmer Harris


  • Cope, Donna (March 29, 2010) "Farley engineered company through nuclear challenges." Powergrams. Alabama Power Company
  • Gray, Jeremy (May 24, 2010) "Former Alabama Power president Joe Farley dead at 82." Birmingham News

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