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Ingram, Bob comment (0)

November 1, 2007

By Martine G. Bates

The world knew him as an author and a reporter who covered Alabama politics for more than half a century. Alabama Baptists, and especially Cloverdale Baptist Church, Montgomery, knew Bob Ingram as one of their own.

Ingram, who died at 81 Oct. 18 after a two-year illness, began a career in journalism following graduation from Auburn University (then Alabama Polytechnic Institute) in 1949. After working at his hometown newspaper, the Cherokee County Herald in Centre, and then The Gadsden Times, Ingram moved to the Montgomery Advertiser in 1953, where he began covering Alabama politics from the capital.

‘Unquestioned integrity’
Over the next 50 years, Ingram worked for several different media outlets and  covered such major events as the Montgomery bus boycott and George Wallace’s famous stand in the schoolhouse door. He covered all but one of the Alabama gubernatorial races between 1950 and 2006. Ingram sat out the governor’s race in 1970, because he was serving as finance director in former Gov. Albert Brewer’s administration. By then, Ingram was well known for his high ethical standards.

Brewer said, “I said when I appointed him finance director of our state, ‘He is a man of unquestioned integrity.’”
Brewer also knew the depth of Ingram’s faith. “In the hectic world of state government, Bob was a voice of calm assurance, confident and comfortable in his faith,” he said. “He was an example and model for all of us.”
Ingram was well respected in Alabama Baptist circles, serving on the board of The Alabama Baptist from 1967 until 1986 (except for 1979).

According to Cloverdale Baptist Pastor Danny Crosby, Ingram loved his church, serving in several capacities including deacon and Sunday School teacher for 35 years.
His church also loved Ingram, Crosby said. Just two weeks before he died, Ingram was feeling well enough to attend church. “When the church became aware that Bob was there, they gave him a standing ovation,” Crosby said.

Although he taught adults, the children in the church knew Ingram, too, according to longtime friend and current chairman of deacons Tommy Moseley. “He always had Juicy Fruit gum in his pocket,” Moseley said. “He was like the Pied Piper — little kids came to him looking for the gum.”

Of all of his achievements, which included two books and numerous awards, perhaps the best measure of Ingram’s success is in his own children and grandchildren. According to Moseley, it was observed at Ingram’s funeral that all three of his children and all of his eight grandchildren are Christians.
Ingram’s wife died in 1997. (TAB)
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