Mark Kelly

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Mark Kelly (born December 3, 1961 in Haleyville, Winston County) is a writer, musician and contributor to Alabama News Center. He previously worked in public relations as director of the Birmingham Mayor's Office of Public Information and as the publisher of Weld.

Kelly grew up in Russellville, Franklin County. He graduated from Samford University in 1984. He began his career as director of public relations for the Metropolitan Development Board from 1987 to 1993. After that he worked as a reporter and city editor for the weekly Black & White. In 1999 he accepted an appointment to Mayor Bernard Kincaid's staff as senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Information. In that position he helped coordinate public involvement in the creation of the Birmingham Area Technology Leadership Alliance to nurture the development of high-tech industries in Birmingham.

In 2003 Kelly left City Hall to work as a public relations consultant and freelance writer. He authored a multi-part biographical series on former Mayor Richard Arrington for Birmingham Weekly in 2005. In 2006 he managed Patricia Todd's campaign for Alabama House of Representatives District 54. He co-founded Weld for Birmingham with Kyle Whitmire, Glenny Brock and Heather Milam in 2011. Brock stepped down in the Spring of 2012. Whitmire's departure for the Alabama Media Group that Summer prompted Kelly to publish a bitter farewell.

Kelly is one of the co-founders of the Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism, which was incorporated on February 25, 2014 and publishes the BirminghamWatch online news site.

After Weld shut down in 2017, Kelly began contributing to "Alabama News Center", which is operated by the Alabama Power Company.

Kelly has also performed as a musician. He and Gary Hyche formed Teflon Don Juan in 1995, and The Happy Burnells in 1997. When that band folded in 2002 he and Hyche continued to perform with Menewa. In 2015 the joined with Davey Williams in The Wrong Cousins. The Burnells reunited (with a shortened name) in 2019.


  • Kelly, Mark (2008) A Powerful Presence: The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the History of Birmingham. Birmingham: Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Kelly, Mark (2018) Back to Nature: A History of Birmingham's Ruffner Mountain.