Gallery of Distinguished Citizens


In the spirit of transparency, efficiency, and accountability, Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Birmingham City Council have made it a priority to reexamine and improve the roles of city-affiliated boards, agencies, and commissions.

This effort will ensure that the City of Birmingham is cultivating a climate of transparency and overall education for its citizens, while improving the performance of boards and agencies. These entities should be publicly accessible, operationally transparent, and financially responsible.

Our objective is to change the trajectory of our current board and agency appointment system and to implement measures that will equip boards and their members to serve with an emphasis on the values of customer service, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. These new measures include:

  • A comprehensive and in-depth review of all city boards and agencies
  • Increasing transparency and accessibility by creating an interactive online directory (listed below) that lists all boards and agencies, their functions, their members and term lengths. This portal will also give individuals the ability to apply directly online for board service
  • Facilitating Boards & Agencies Orientation Sessions to educate and introduce interested parties to the basic roles and responsibilities of boards and their members
  • Placing a clear emphasis on ethical standards and efficient leadership for all board members

To see current vacancies and apply, please visit:


The film industry honors stellar acting performances with Oscars. The music industry’s most significant award is a Grammy. The Birmingham City Council’s most important honor is induction into the Gallery of Distinguished Citizens. Consider it a citizen’s Hall of Fame.

The idea for the Gallery of Distinguished Citizens was conceived in 1975 by the City Council that was comprised of Councilors Richard Arrington, Jr., Bessie Sears Estell, Don Hawkins, Samuel David Herring, Nina Miglionico, E. C. Overton, Angie Grooms Proctor, Arthur D. Shores and Russell Yarbrough.

The first event was presented in 1977 honoring Dr. A.G. Gaston and Mrs. Minnie Gardner Gaston.

The 2002-2005 City Council posthumously inducted the Four Little Girls killed in the 1963 church bombing.  Memorializing these murdered angels was history making. The guest speaker at that induction ceremony, which occurred on October 22, 2005, was U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Birmingham native daughter who was a peer of the Four Little Girls.

Induction into the Gallery of Distinguished Citizens is an honor that only the Birmingham City Council can bestow. The Council selects one individual per year to represent the years of that Council’s term in office. With an unprecedented decision, the 2005-2009 City Council, created a special classification for one individual. Judge J. Richmond Pearson was the first person to represent an aggregate four years.

The Gallery of Distinguished Citizens is located on the second floor of Birmingham City Hall, 710 North 20th Street.


Dr. Arthur G. Gaston and Mrs. Minnie Gardner Gaston
Mr. William M. Spencer
Mr. Vincent Townsend
Dr. Benjamin Carraway, Sr.
Attorney Sydney W. Smyer
Dr. Joseph F. Volker
Attorney Frank Spain
Mr. Thad Holt
Dr. W. C. Patton
Mr. Fred W. Sington
Mrs. Bernice C. Jenkins
Mr. William H. -Cap- Brown
Mrs. Margaret Spain McDonald
Mr. James Hatcher
Mr. Charlie Pierce
Dr. Neal Berte
Mr. Joseph S. Bruno
Ms. Odessa Woolfolk
Reverend Abraham Lincoln Woods, Jr.
Mr. Nasief Joe Rookis
Reverend Dr. Thomas L. Lewis
Ms. Marie S. Ingalls
Mr. Benjamin Greene, Sr.
Dr. Alston Callahan
Justice Oscar Adams, Jr.
Ms. Nina Miglionico
Mr. Steven Orel
Jugde J. Richmond Pearson
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
Virgil Ware
Johnny Robinson
Mrs. Yvonne Turner
Addie Mae Collins
Denise McNair
Carole Robertson
Cynthia D. Morris Wesley
Mr. William -Bill- Ricker
Gwendolyn Welch
Heager Hill
Anthony Marino
Maxine Herring Parker