October 3, 1944
Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley was born in Ashland to a family that had farmed and raised cattle in the small community for generations. He would eventually work his way up from Ashland City Council to U.S. congressman and then Alabama’s 55th governor in 2002. He defeated former Gov. Fob James’ son, Tim, in the Republican Primary and the incumbent Democrat, Don Siegelman. Riley was re-elected in 2006, defeating Democrat Lucy Baxley. He was noted for his efforts to improve Alabama’s tax system and its schools, and for recruiting industry to the state.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Portrait of Bob Riley during his time in Congress. (Wikipedia)
Congressman Bob Riley and President George W. Bush traveled to Alabama in June aboard Air Force One for the president’s visit to Birmingham, 2001. (Office of Congressman Bob Riley, Wikipedia)
Bob Riley achieved an economic coup for the state when German steel company ThyssenKrupp agreed to build a production facility in Mobile County. Alabama had been in a bidding competition with Louisiana to gain the estimated 2,700 high-paying jobs that would come with the facility. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Mobile Press-Register)
Gov. Bob Riley at an ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide) distance learning demonstration at Prattville High School in Autauga County. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Birmingham News)
Bob Riley (1944- ) was the governor of Alabama from 2003-2011, elected in 2002 as the third Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. During his tenure in office, Riley focused his efforts on reforming the state’s tax system and education programs, as well as attracting new industries to the area. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Mobile Press-Register)
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, third from right, tours the state’s Gulf Coast with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, second from right, during the secretary’s tour of Gulf states in response to the BP oil spill in July 2010. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the U.S. Navy. Photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien)
Portrait of Bob Riley, 2005. (Mary, Flickr, Wikipedia)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.