Fob James

Fob James

Governor
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Fob James

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Forrest Hood James, Jr., known as Fob James (born September 15, 1934), is an American politician, a civil engineer, and an all-American half-back. He served two terms as the 48th Governor of Alabama, from 1979 to 1983 as a Democrat, and again from 1995 to 1999 as a Republican.

Education, football, and early career

After graduation in 1952 from Baylor School, a private high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, James was a four-year letterman (1952–1955) and All-American halfback for the Auburn University football team playing for head coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan. He received a civil engineering degree in 1957. He played professional football in Canada as a member of the Montreal Alouettes during the 1956 season and entered the Army to serve two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

From 1958-59, James was a heavy construction engineer with Burford Tractor Company in Montgomery, AL. In 1959, his second born, Gregory Fleming James, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Needing money to pay Greg's medical bills, James left Montgomery in 1960 to take a job as construction superintendent with Laidlaw Contracting Company, a road-paving company in Mobile, AL. In 1961, the James decided that he could earn a living from the manufacture of plastic-coated barbells. In 1962, he founded Diversified Products Inc., a manufacturer of fitness equipment known for the plastic-disc barbells...
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