Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks: J.B. Stoner


In August, we’re celebrating Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks, whether they be liars, thieves, extortionists, swindlers or thugs. Running daily until Birmingham mayor Larry Langford’s Aug. 31 federal trial. Thanks to Bhamwiki for helping with this project.

J.B. Stoner

J.B. StonerPositions held: Georgia-born attorney; chairman of  the National States’ Rights Party, the political arm of the Ku Klux Klan

Wanted for: 1958 bombing of Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church

Date of conviction: 1980

Sentence: 10 years in Kilby Prison outside Montgomery, but released after three-and-a-half years for good behavior.

Criminally fun fact: During his 1970 Georgia gubernatorial run, Stoner described Adolf Hitler as “too moderate.” During his 1972 Senate campaign, he won a ruling from the FCC that TV stations had to air his commercials despite his use of the “n-word.”

Stoner was a fugitive for 5 months before surrendering to go to prison, fearing what black prisoners would do to him. A few months before his death at age 81 in a Georgia nursing home, he told a reporter he’d like to still march out and make a segregation speech. He served as an appeals attorney for assassin James Earl Ray.

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3 Yips for “Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks: J.B. Stoner”

  1. John
    Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 1:30 pm

    Stoner was also his party’s vice presidential candidate in the 1964 presidential race.

  2. John
    Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 3:23 pm

    OK, you made me do it. Here’s a longer profile on Stoner:


    Also, I would differ with the NY Times’ characterization of the NSRP as “the political arm of the KKK”. That honor rightly goes to the White Citizens Councils. The NSRP was more like the pseudo-political but just perhaps-even-more-violent armpit of the KKK

  3. Wade
    Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 3:59 pm

    You done good. I updated to link to the Stoner profile on Bhamwiki.

    I’m not up on my KKK history. But looks like he stayed true to the party to the bitter, bitter end.

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