Alabama Academy of Honor


Barrett Shelton, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1991.



Decatur, Alabama. is the city in which Barrett Clinton Shelton, Jr., was born, on June 15,1931, the son of Barrett C. Shelton, Sr. and Suzanne Jones Shelton.

He received his grammar school and high school education in his native Decatur. In 1954 he graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa with a Bachelor of Science degree in business.

Barrett Shelton, Jr., married the former Georgia Tolly Gilmer in 1958. They are the parents of two daughters and a son. He served his country during the Korean War for two years in the United States Air Force.

He chose the communication field as his profession and began work with The Dothan Eagle, an assignment which was interrupted when he entered the military. After his time in the Air Force, he accepted a position with The Chattanooga Times, where he received valuable experience in advertising. circulation, and editorial training.

It was in the year 1957 that he had an opportunity to join his hometown newspaper, The Decatur Daily, as county editor. By applying hard work, long hours, and dedication to his job, he began to ascend the ladder of promotion. In the course of a few years he became editor and publisher of The Decatur Daily, a position he continues to hold today.

Barrett Shelton was quick to recognize that progress was good for his home section and for the state of Alabama. As a consequence he gave himself and his resources to serving his fellow man while publishing the news and championing growth and progress.

He has served as president of his community's Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board, and supplied leadership in other areas. Barrett Shelton became a bank director and is a trustec of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He served as a director of the Alabama 4-H Foundation, as vice-president and president of the Tennessee Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and in other cultural and civic fields. Barrett Shelton, Jr., is a former chairman of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce.

The Shelton family have been ardent supporters of education, and Barrett Shelton, Jr., has carried on the family tradition. He has served on the President's Cabinet at the University of Alabama and is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham, and former president of the John C. Calhoun Community College Foundation.

While serving the public with a wide-awake news organization, Shelton's newspaper, The Decatur Daily, has been recognized by his peers as one of the best in its territory, and his fellow newspapermen have honored him personally by electing him president of both the Alabama Press Association and the Journalism Association of the APA. He has also represented the state as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

Barrett Shelton, Jr., is an active churchman and is an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Decatur, Alabama.