Senator Rodger M. Smitherman, Esquire, is currently serving his sixth term as Senator for Birmingham’s District 18. Additionally, he is assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach for four-time state champions Ramsey High School, a Constitutional Law Professor for Miles Law School, a practicing attorney, semi-pro golfer, husband, father, and grandfather.
Attorney Smitherman was educated in the Shelby County Public Schools where his mother was the first black principal in that system. His father was self-employed and taught his son never to be a stranger to hard work. Unfortunately, Smitherman’s parents both became invalids before he turned 13; and not only did he care for both of them until their death, but the courts gave him custody of his younger sibling. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Montevallo and graduated from Miles Law School with honors.
Senator Smitherman is married to Judge Carole Smitherman and they have five children; Rodger II, Tonya, Mary, Crystal, and Roderick who is with God.
His life experiences have taken him from his first job working on a grass farm, to personnel director at Stockham and Dean of Students at Southern Junior College, to establishing the Smitherman Law Firm. Additionally, he is of Council with Waldrep, Stewart & Kindred Law Firm.
The Governor of Alabama appointed Senator Smitherman to the Board of Trustees at the University of Montevallo and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He has served on the Metro YMCA Board of Directors, Executive Committee of Southern Legislative Conference and National Energy Council. He currently serves a Board Member for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and previously served the organization as treasurer.
In 2008 Senator Smitherman was elected President Pro Tem of the Alabama State Senate. As Pro Tem he served as the third ranking public official for the State of Alabama. In the Alabama Senate he is a member of the Judiciary Committee, Legislative Council, and Education Budget and Rules Committees.
Senator Smitherman is the recipient of many awards and honors. Among them, he received the Birmingham Board of Education Partner of the Year Award and Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Legislative Leadership Award.
Despite his extensive professional, political, and volunteer endeavors, Senator Smitherman always puts family first. Each morning before starting his own day he has traditionally driven each of his grandchildren to school, and serves as Elder at More Than Conquerors Faith Church where the family worships.
Senator Smitherman is a person of marked individuality and strong character, who takes a selfless approach to many of his tasks. He is an advocate of civil and human rights, knowing the value of reaching back to help others so that all may enter with him. Senator Smitherman believes you can’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. As he often says, “You must do the things you think you cannot do for failure is not an option.”
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