Robert Kelly

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Robert Earl Kelly (born in Jackson, Mississippi) is the founder of Kelly Road Builders and Kelly Natural Gas Pipeline.

Kelly enrolled at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi on a theater scholarship, but switched his major to communications. He worked various corporate jobs, which brought him to Birmingham in the late 1980s. He turned down a transfer to Nashville in order to remain in the city, and founded Kelly Construction Company in 1999. That company soon evolved into primarily a road contractor. In 2015 he founded another business to focus on building and maintaining natural gas pipelines. He sold the road-building company to Joseph Winters in 2023.

Kelly has served on the executive committee of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and as chair of Operation New Birmingham. He has been an active supporter of the Birmingham Sickle Cell Foundation and Miles College. He has also served on the Birmingham Airport Authority, the Birmingham Education Foundation, the Lawson State Community College Foundation, and the Birmingham African-American Business Council.

Kelly and his wife, the former Dee Monroe, have two daughters, Natalie and Whitley.


  • Worthy, Ariel (May 18, 2017) "How Robert Earl Kelly’s love for Birmingham paved the way for city residents, businesses." The Birmingham Times