Alabama Academy of Honor


Ann Smith Bedsole

The following biographical sketch was updated in October 2002.

Ann Smith Bedsole is a native of Selma, Alabama. She is the daughter of White Smith and Sybil Huey Smith. Along with her family, she spent many of her younger years in Jackson, Alabama. Following high school graduation, she entered the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. She later continued her educational pursuits at Denver University.

Mrs. Bedsole is the owner and operator of Bedsole Farms and President and Chairman of the Board of White Smith Land Co. She also chairs the distribution committee of the Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust. In 1978 Ann Bedsole became the first Republican woman ever to be elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. The citizens of Mobile County were not slow in recognizing her worth as a public official and at the next state election, elevated her to the position of Alabama State Senator. She was the first woman ever to fill such a position. While serving in the state senate, she was appointed Chairman of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.

Although she was pressed for time with her own business and the responsibilities of representing the people of her district, she nevertheless accepted the responsibility of serving on the Board of Trustees of Spring Hill College and Huntingdon College. Senator Bedsole was instrumental in founding the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science. She was also founding president of Mobile Historic Homes Tours and the Alabama Forest Resources Center. Currently she serves as President of Mobile Tricentennial, Inc.

Senator Bedsole's ability in leadership and accomplishment has been recognized statewide as well as at home. She has received the Meritorious Public Service Award from both the Montgomery Advertiser and the Alabama Journal. She has also been recipient of Honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Mobile College and Huntingdon College. Ann Bedsole was elected the First Lady of Mobile in 1972, Mobilian of the Year in 1993, and Philanthropist of the Year in 1998.

Ann Smith Bedsole is the wife of Palmer Bedsole, Mobile business executive. They are the parents of three children and the grandparents of seven.