Alabama Academy of Honor

Charles Pratt Rather

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1979.

C. Pratt Rather, engineer, businessman, executive, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, October 6,1902, son of John D. and Nona Pratt Rather. He attended the University of Alabama and received the bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mr. Rather began his business career immediately following his graduation in 1927. He excelled rapidly in his field. Some of his outstanding accomplishments include appointments as engineer with the Alabama Water Service Company and Case Construction Company, Chief Engineer, Vice President and President of Alabama Water Service Company, Vice President and General Manager, and President of Southern Natural Gas, all of which occurred by the time he was 35. During his years of service, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Alabama Gas Company, Alabama Natural Gas Corporation, Birmingham Gas Company, First National Bank of Birmingham, the Offshore Company, Air Reduction Company, and Southern Natural Gas.

In addition to his numerous professional responsibilities, Mr. Rather's civic duties were not neglected. He served as trustee of Gorgas Foundation, Southern Research Institute, and Appeal Chairman and President of Jefferson County Community Chest, and is presently Trustee Chairman of the Board of Hillcrest Hospital.

Past organization memberships include Independent Natural Gas Association of America, of which he served as president, National Petroleum Council, and American Gas Association. During the Korean War, Mr. Rather spent approximately one year in Washington serving as Assistant Deputy Administrator of the Petroleum Administration for defense.

Mr. Rather married Jeanette Kathleen Brown on November 8, 1927. They had two sons, Charles Pratt and Daniel Brown. He is now deceased.