William A. Bell

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William A. Bell
William A. Bell.jpg
Mayor Bell (left) with a llama, 2010
33rd Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama
In office
January 26, 2010 – November 27, 2017[1]
Preceded byRoderick Royal
Succeeded byRandall Woodfin
Personal details
Born (1949-06-01) June 1, 1949 (age 70)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic

William A. Bell Sr. (born June 1, 1949) is an American politician who served as the 33rd mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, from 2010 to 2017.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party. Bell previously held the office on an interim basis in 1999.[2] Bell was elected following a run-off with Patrick Cooper. Bell won the run-off with 53.6% to Cooper's 46.4%.

Bell served several terms on the Birmingham City Council. In 1985, he became the first African American to serve as president of the Birmingham City Council, having been elected to that position by the members of the council.[2] Bell was the only mayor in the city's history that brought in over 2 billion dollars of business development for Birmingham and was instrumental in overseeing the renaissance of Birmingham with projects that brought international recognition including the World Games, the Senior Games, Railroad Park, Regions Baseball Field, worked with President Obama and UNESCO in naming Birmingham a World Heritage site and National Park that also recognized Birmingham's Civil Rights History. Other Civil Rights historical landmarks that are included in Bell's visionary project include the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church,Bethel Baptist Church,the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute,the A.G. Gaston Motel and several other historical sites. Bell also led in the development of the Birmingham Sports Crossplex and over $300 million dollars in capital improvements for the Birmingham City School System and the University of Alabama in Birmingham, in spite of coming into office with a $77 million dollar deficit left by the prior administration. Bell grew the city of Birmingham reserves to over $350 million dollars when he left office.

On December 15, 2015, Bell was involved in a physical altercation with Councillor Marcus Lundy during a city council meeting. Both men were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. [3] Two days after the altercation, Bell and Lundy publicly apologized in a press conference.

Facing re-election, Bell finished second in the primary election on August 22, 2017 among twelve candidates and advanced to the general election. On October 3, 2017, Bell was defeated by former Birmingham Board of Education President Randall Woodfin.[4]


  1. ^ a b Edgemon, Erin (November 28, 2017). "'This is a new day at city hall:' Randall Woodfin sworn in as Birmingham mayor". The Birmingham News. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Office of the Mayor". Birmingham Alabama official website. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  3. ^ "Birmingham mayor William Bell, councilman Marcus Lundy taken to hospital after fight". al.com.
  4. ^ "Birmingham mayoral race: Randall Woodfin defeats William Bell; live election updates".
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Arrington Jr.
Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama (Interim)
Succeeded by
Bernard Kincaid
Preceded by
Roderick Royal (Interim)
Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama
Succeeded by
Randall Woodfin