Samuel H. Booker
Booker graduated from Glencoe High School in 1941 and entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute. However, as was true with many young men of that time, his education was interrupted by World War II. In 1943, Booker began a tour of duty with the U.S. Army and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his service commitment, he returned to Auburn and completed a degree in agricultural science in 1947.
In July of that year, Booker went to work for Alabama Power Company, beginning a career that lasted 39 years.
As a manager and executive, Booker successfully met new and changing circumstances. As the company faced increased competition from traditional and non-traditional power sources, he encouraged a study that resulted in Alabama Power Company becoming more attuned to its customers and better positioned to meet their needs, particularly in the agriculture and agribusiness areas. Programs started during this era included dusk-to-dawn lighting service at $3 a month. This was especially useful in rural areas for use between barns and houses and around public areas such as schools and churches. Agricultural users also benefited from radiant-heated concrete slabs in chicken houses and peanut drying facilities. Farmers increasingly used electric pumps to provide running water.
Characterized as a man of unfailing optimism and infectious good humor, Booker was an unswerving advocate for Auburn University and the College of Agriculture. He was a charter life member of the Ag Alumni Association and regularly attended annual meetings. He was a member of the Ag 21 Club, a trustee of the Baptist Medical Centers, director of the Birmingham Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, member of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club and director of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Booker was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Trussville, the Jefferson County Farm-City Committee and the first chairman of the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension System’s Advisory Board.
Booker was a strong voice for Alabama agriculture in the urban Birmingham community, helping city dwellers realize the value of agriculture and farming to everyone.
Sam died in 2003. He and his wife Sara had two children—Samuel C. (deceased) and Ronald W.—three grandchildren—Matthew, Christopher and Adam—and one great-grandchild, Bella.