Alabama Academy of Honor


John Wellman Bloomer

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1977.



John Wellman Bloomer, a well-known newspaper executive in the Southeast for more than thirty years, was born in Wabash, Indiana, April 23, 1912. He received his early education in the area and was a student at Indiana University 1932-1934.

Mr. Bloomer was editor of the Birmingham News and had been associated with the News since 1957. As editor, he was in charge of the news and editorial page content.

He began his career as editor of the Elizabethton (Tennessee) Star at the age of 22; he later held executive positions with newspapers in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Mississippi.

While he was managing editor of the Columbus Ledger and Inquirer, that newspaper was awarded the highest journalistic honor, the Pulitzer Prize, for meritorious public service. The prize was awarded in connection with the newspaper's activity in the Phenix City clean-up.

He was active in professional circles as well as in civic areas in Alabama. He was on the Advisory Council, College of Business and Management Studies, University of South Alabama; the boards of Alabama Heart Association, Better Business Bureau, National Alliance of Businessmen, Warrior-Tombigbee Devolpment Association; serves as chairman, Alabama Environmental Quality Association and the 1977 Heart Fund Drive; honorary chairmember, Advisory Council on Journalism and Communications of Auburn University; American Society of Newspaper Editors; Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations; president, Alabama Partners of the Americas; past president, Alabama Professional Chapter, Sigma Delta Chi; Jefferson Shelby Lung Association; and vice president, Alabama Lung Association; and the Alabama Symphony Association.

He was also a member of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club, Newcomen Society, Lamar Society, Downtown Club, Relay House, the Club, and was an Episcopalian.

Mr. Bloomer received awards from the United States Environmental Protection Agency; 1974 and 1975 Keep America Beautiful; Alabama Wildlife Federation; Service to Agriculture by Alabama Farm Bureau; Governor's Conservation Achievement; Medical Association of Alabama for outstanding accomplishments in coordinating the Guatemala Relief Effort.

Under Mr. Bloomer's presidency of the Alabama Partners of the Americans the organization maintained projects in Guatemala in health, education, and cultural development. Twelve cities in Alabama established a special relationship with twelve cities in Guatemala, each carrying out health, education, and civic projects. At the time of the earthquake in 1976, Mr. Bloomer was instrumental in having two field hospitals sent to Guatemala within less than a week after the tragedy, and also was responsible for promoting the statewide campaign of goodwill contributions that resulted in a $55,000 fund. The fund was used to create a vocational rehabilitation center for paraplegic and other earthquake victims left crippled by injuries.

He married the former Margaret Shornick. He is now deceased.