Senator James Thomas “Jabo” Waggoner, born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 8, 1937, is serving his eighth term in the Senate after serving from 1966-1983 in the House of Representatives. He and his wife, Marilyn, are the parents of four children and grandparents of seven and one great-grandson.
Senator Waggoner attended Auburn where he was a walk-on to the Auburn basketball team. Two years later, he was awarded a basketball scholarship and transferred to Birmingham Southern College where he received his BA degree. Waggoner lettered at BSC his junior and senior seasons. Later, he received his JD degree from the Birmingham School of Law.
Senator Waggoner is a member of the Homewood Church of Christ. He serves on the following boards: Executive Committee of Birmingham Business Alliance; Faulkner University Board of Trustees; Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau; Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He is a member of Hoover, Homewood, Shelby County, Vestavia Hills Chambers of Commerce; 50-year member of Civitan International; member of Masons and Shriners organizations; member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club. He was inducted into the Birmingham Southern College Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and received the Birmingham Southern Distinguish Alumni in 2013.
He is a founding member and past president of the Birmingham Tip-Off Club. He recently received the 2019 Distinguished Alabama Sportsman Award by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Senator Waggoner served as Senate Minority Leader from 2002-2010. He served as Senate Majority Leader from December 8, 2010-2014.
Senator Waggoner has the longest record of service of any legislator in the history of Alabama.
He is the recipient of the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012, and the 2013 Alabama State Council of the Arts Legacy Award. Senator Waggoner was awarded the UAB President’s Medal and honored at UAB’s 2021 graduation ceremony. He has also received numerous other awards and recognitions for his service in the Alabama Legislature.
For the 2019-2022 legislative sessions, Waggoner serves on the following Senate committees:
Rules – Chairman
Confirmations – Vice Chairman
Jefferson County Local Legislation – Chairman
Banking & Insurance
Finance & Taxation Education
Finance & Taxation General Fund
Shelby County Local Legislation
Senator Waggoner has attended every Republican National Convention 1984 – 2016. He was Alabama chairman for former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign. Senator Waggoner represented Alabama as an at-large member of the 2012 Presidential Electoral College.