Ken Forbes Jr
Forbes, son of piano store owner Kenneth Forbes and grandson of company founder E. E. Forbes, was born at South Highlands Hospital and grew up in Crestline. He attended Crestline Heights Grammar School and Phillips High School, then spent three semesters at Southwestern College at Memphis (now Rhodes College) before transferring to the University of Alabama, where he majored in history. While there he became a student minister at the 1st Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa.
In 1953 Forbes enrolled at the Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. When he graduated in 1956 he was called to the North Birmingham Presbyterian Church. He left Birmingham in the 1950s and moved to New York City. He worked as a stock broker for Kidder Peabody and attended New York University's Graduate School of Finance. Financial turmoil of the early 1960s forced him into retail work. He accepted a position as head of after school youth programs at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and later helped organize the High Reach Youth Center.
Forbes returned to Alabama in the mid-1960s and worked at Forbes Piano Company for three years before opening the first Angry Revolt store on The Curve in Homewood. He met a great deal of opposition and used his free newspaper, The Alternate, in his unsuccessful 1973 campaign for Birmingham City Council. When the gasoline crisis made his head shops unprofitable, he opened a foosball center called The Trainstation.
In late 1973 Forbes moved to Los Angeles and helped launch the gay-friendly "Late Sleepers Church" service at West Hollywood Presbyterian Church. He lived for a while in San Diego before returning to the family business in Birmingham in 1975. He sold his stake in the company after his father's death in 1986 and launched Square Talk, a compilation of editorials on Southern topics. He served on the board of the ACLY of Alabama and joined the Alabama Humanist Society. In 2000 he co-founded the South Points Association for Exploring Religion.
- Forbes, Ken Jr (April 3, 2010) "Ken's Biography". Ken's Religious Left