Robert Bob Ingram

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bob Ingram, who chronicled Alabama politics for six decades, passed away Thursday, Oct. 18, after a two-year battle with myelodysplasia. He was 81.

After a tour of duty as a United States Marine in the south Pacific in World War II, Ingram graduated from Auburn University and immediately went to work at the Cherokee County Herald in his hometown of Centre. He left there to serve as sports editor of the Gadsden Times and later served as state editor before joining the staff of the Montgomery Advertiser in 1953.

Covering events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the &uot;Segregation Forever&uot; inaugural speech and the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, Ingram had a career that gave him a front row seat to Alabama history.

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He credited his love of reading and writing to his mother, the late Sallie Jane Ingram, who went to work as the town librarian in Centre after her husband, Bob Ingram, Sr., passed away in 1932.

After nearly 14 years at the Advertiser, he left to become director of legislative affairs for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Upon the death of Gov. Lurleen Wallace, Gov. Albert Brewer appointed Ingram as Finance Director. As he was in the gubernatorial cabinet, the 1970 the lone governor’s race Ingram didn’t cover between 1950 and 2006.

For nearly 50 years, Ingram wrote a weekly column for dozens of weekly and small daily newspapers throughout the state. &uot;The Alabama Scene&uot; was a treasure trove of political tidbits, history and news, particularly for Alabamians who didn’t have easy access to one of the state’s major daily newspapers.

He was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club, and previously served as a deacon at Cloverdale Baptist Church in Montgomery, where he taught a Sunday school class for more than 35 years until last spring. He was also active with several charitable and civic endeavors, volunteering most recently with the Montgomery Ostomy Association after his battle with bladder cancer in 1994.

Ingram was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Edith Ragan Ingram, in 1997, and a sister, Barbara Lydic, of North Pole, Alaska.

He is survived by his children: son Robert B. (Burr) Ingram, III of Huntsville, and his wife, Jan; daughter Beth Ingram Lamberth of Alexander City, and her husband, Tom; and son Ragan Ingram of Montgomery, and his wife Karen; a sister: Rozanne I. Jones of Chattanooga, Tennessee; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, Oct. 21 at Cloverdale Baptist Church in Montgomery at 2:30 p.m. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery. A visitation will be held Saturday from 3-6 p.m. at Leak Memory Funeral Home in Montgomery.

In lieu of flowers, it was Ingram’s wishes for contributions to be made to Cloverdale Baptist Church or the Robert Ingram Lecture Series at Auburn Montgomery.