William Powell

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Arnold Powell, Jr (born c. 1929 in Verbena - died August 21, 2009) was president of the First National Bank of Birmingham and Alabama Bancorporation, predecessors of AmSouth Bank and today's Regions Bank.

Powell graduated from Phillips High School in 1947 and earned degrees from the University of Alabama and Louisiana State University. He served in Alabama National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves. He was activated during the Korean War, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant. He remained in the reserves until 1959.

He started at First National Bank as a coin counter at the Woodlawn branch in 1949 and was promoted to commercial teller after earning his bachelor's degree in 1953. When he returned from active duty he was made an assistant manager for the Bessemer, Hueytown and Homewood branches. In 1967 he was promoted to vice president and branch manager. A year later he was named supervisor of all branches. And in 1979 he became the first dual president of First National Bank and the Alabama Bancorporation. In 1992 he was named vice-chair of the board for AmSouth. He retired in 1993.

Powell also served in numerous roles as a civic leader. He was active in the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce and chairman, president and lifetime member of the Metropolitan Development Board. He was chairman of the United Way campaign, a trustee for the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Children's Theatre and the Birmingham Historical Society, and was founding director of the foundation supporting the Alabama School of Fine Arts. He chaired the 1985 Birmingham Festival of Arts Salute to Sweden and was a founding member of the Metropolitan Arts Council. He was also president and life trustee of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and a member of the UAB president's council.

Powell died in 2009. He was survived by his wife Barbara, four children and ten grandchildren. His funeral mass was held at St Peter's Catholic Church and he is buried at Elmwood Cemetery.


  • Hubbard, Russell (August 23, 2009) "William Powell, AmSouth veteran banker, dies." Birmingham News