Alabama Academy of Honor

Lister Hill

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1969.

Senator Lister Hill of Montgomery, Alabama was born in 1896, the son of one of the South's most distinguished surgeons, Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill. Following his graduation from Starke University in Montgomery, he entered the University of Alabama at age 16, and graduated from Columbia University four years later with a law degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key.

He entered law practice in Montgomery in 1916, and was elected Congressman from the Second District of Alabama at the age of 28. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs, and was elected first to the U. S. Senate in 1938. He served five successive terms before announcing his retirement effective in January, 1969.

As a U. S. Senator, Lister Hill distinguished himself in a number of fields, but was best-known for his landmark legislation in the field of Public Health. Perhaps the best-known legislation which bears his name is the Hospital and Health Center Construction Act of 1946, better known as the Hill-Burton Act. He also sponsored the Hill-Harris Art of 1963, providing for assistance in constructing facilities for the mentally retarded and mentally ill.

Senator Hill was recognized as the most instrumental man in Congress in gaining greatly increased support for medical research at the nation's medical schools and other research institution.

Senator Hill also sponsored other important legislation, including the TVA Act, the Rural Telephone Act, the Rural Housing Act, the Vocational Education Act, and the National Defense Education Act.

Senator Hill was Chairman of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, which handles important legislation on veterans education, health, hospitals, libraries, and labor-management relations. He was also a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a member of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

Senator Hill held honorary degrees from 13 colleges and universities, including the University of Alabama and Auburn University. He was a Methodist, a Mason, a veteran of World War I, and a member of the American Legion.

Lister Hill died December 21, 1984.