Alabama Academy of Honor

Walter Wallace Kennedy

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

Walter Wallace Kennedy, former honorary chairman of the Board of the First Alabama Bank in Montgomery, was born in Birmingham December 20, 1898, and received his early education in the public schools of that city. He took his undergraduate collegiate work at the University of Alabama and after his military service as a lieutenant in World War II returned to the University and received his LL.B. degree in 1921. In 1947 he graduated from the Commercial Banking Course at the Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and later served on the university's faculty.

After practicing law in Birmingham following his graduation from the University of Alabama, he began his banking career in the Trust Department of the First National Bank of Birmingham in 1929. In 1935 he became Vice President and Trust Officer of the First National Bank of Montgomery, now the First Alabama Bank of Montgomery. After several years of service as a colonel in the Air Force in World War II, he returned to the First National Bank of Montgomery as Executive Vice President and in 1948 became its president. On September 1, 1964, Mr. Kennedy became Chairman of the Board of the Bank and on January 1, 1969, became Honorary Chairman of the Board. He was also vice president and director of the First Alabama Bankshares, Inc.

Among the positions which Mr. Kennedy held in banking associations are president of Alabama Bankers Association, president of the Trust Division of American Bankers Association, Banking Education Committee of the American Bankers Association. He served for seven years on the Board of Regents of the Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and for four years was the chairman of the Board of Regents. He also served on the faculty of the Banking School of the South at Louisiana State University.

Mr. Kennedy was the author of a text book entitled Bank Management which has enjoyed wide popularity. He was also co-author of The Management of a Trust Department. In addition he was a frequent contributor to legal and banking periodicals.

In Mr. Kennedy's activities as a banker, teacher, and civic-minded citizen he was active in the Amateur Artists Association, University of Alabama Alumni Association, Community Chest of Montgomery, Montgomery Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Phi, Phi Delta Gamma, and the Rotary Club. Mr. Kennedy was an Episcopalian.

He was married to the former Myra Belle Pope. They have three children: Walter, Ann Carter, and Carol Pope. Mr. Kennedy is now deceased.