Edward Hamilton Wilson


Ham Wilson was born October 22, 1921, in Greenville, Alabama. After attending Georgia Military College for a year, he enrolled at Auburn and graduated with a degree in agricultural science in 1943. During his time at Auburn, Wilson was business manager for the “The Auburn Plainsman”, AU’s student newspaper.

After World War II, Wilson left military service, having attained the rank of captain. He became an assistant county agent in Shelby County, then worked for about four years as an agronomist with American Cyanamid.

In 1952, Wilson began a career that would ultimately lead to great distinction for him and for the cattlemen of Alabama. At that time, he has named director of the agriculture division of the Alabama Chamber of Commerce. One of his duties was to organize a then fledgling association of cattlemen in the state. He traveled the state extensively to organize the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. He served most of his 34 year career as executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Association. During his leadership, the cattle industry in the state grew to a $1.5 billion industry and the Cattlemen’s Association, with 16,700 members, became the largest of its kind in the nation.

Wilson was instrumental in organizing the Southeastern Livestock Exposition and has served as its executive director for 35 years. The Southeastern Livestock Exposition sponsors the annual Livestock Week and a world championship rodeo each year, and it is the largest annual livestock event in the state.

Following retirement from the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Wilson was named director of governmental affairs for the Auburn University system. In this position, he was in charge of working with AU’s system of legislative committees to promote and explain the University’s position on the local level.

Wilson is married to the former Louise Lovelady of Montevallo, and they have a son, Edward Hamilton Wilson Jr., and a daughter, Mrs. Bill Blount.