Alabama Academy of Honor


Jeff Sessions

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2014.

Jeff Sessions was born in Selma on December 24, 1946. The son of a country store owner, he spent his entire youth in the small family home in rural Hybart and attended schools in nearby Camden. After high school, Sessions worked his way through Huntingdon College where he earned a B.A. in History in 1969. He received his J.D. from the University of Alabama in 1973. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1975 to 1986 and attained the rank of Captain.

As a young lawyer, Sessions first practiced in Russellville before moving to Mobile to serve two years as Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 1981, he was nominated by President Ronal Reagan to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama -- a position he held for 12 years. In 1995, he was elected Alabama Attorney General until his election to the United States Senate in 1997.

Sessions now serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee. He has previously served as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions also serves as senior member of the Armed Services Committee and on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Sessionsís public service career has emphasized maintaining a strong military, good stewardship of public money and the preservation of our legal system, our nationís defense, and the environment. Major legislation and actions by Sessions include: the addition of the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge near Anniston to the National Wildlife Refuge System, wilderness protection for Dugger Mountain in the Talladega National Forest, legislation to reduce the disparity in Medicare payments which resulted in an increase to Alabama hospitals of nearly $1 billion over a 10-year period, and a bill to make interest earned on tuition savings plans tax free. Sessions also led efforts for more equitable HIV/A IDS funding for low-income Alabamians, and he worked to open 8.3 million acres of land in the Gulf of Mexico to new energy exploration. He authored the HEROES Act which increased the death benefit to families of fallen soldiers from $12,000 to $100,000 and increased the maximum life insurance benefit for servicemen from $250,000 to $400,000. Sessions also led the reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act to fund Childrenís Advocacy Centers which provide resources and assistance to child victims and their families. He has led efforts to end the lawlessness in immigration, confirm superior judges, balance the budget, and produce more American energy.

For his efforts, Sessions has received numerous honors including: the Reserve Officers Association Minuteman of the Year Award, Alabama Farmers Federation Service to Agriculture Award, National Religious Broadcasters Faith and Freedom Award, Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, National Taxpayers Union Friend of the Taxpayer Award, Watchdog of the Treasury Golden Bulldog Award, and the NFIB Small Business Award.