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D. Paul Jones

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2018.


D. Paul Jones, Jr. was born in 1942 in Birmingham, where he attended the city’s public schools. After high school, he attended the University of Alabama, where he received a B.S. degree from the School of Commerce and Business Administration and a J.D. from the School of Law. He also received an LL.M in Taxation from New York University.

He joined the predecessor to the Birmingham law firm Balch & Bingham in 1967 and practiced with that firm until 1978. While engaged in the practice of law, Jones was a member of the Board of Bar Examiners of the Alabama State Bar and a frequent lecturer on banking and corporate law. He has served as the chair or as a member of numerous law revision committees.

In 1978, Jones joined Compass Bancshares (then Central Bancshares) as its Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and a Director. While a banker, he was involved in the formation of financial policy through the Government Relations Council of the American Bankers Association; as president of the Alabama Bankers Association; and as a director of the Association of Bank Holding Companies and the Financial Services Roundtable. He also served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from 1993 to 2009.

In 1991, Jones became Compass’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, a position from which he retired in 2008. At the time of his retirement, the bank had grown to forty-seven billion in assets, operated 622 offices in seven states, employed more than 12,000 employees, and ranked as the twenty-sixth largest bank in the United States, based on deposits. When Compass was purchased by the Spanish bank BBVA in September 2007, approximately two-thirds of its assets were located outside Alabama.

Following his retirement from Compass, Jones served on the board of directors of the Bank of America Corporation and Bank America from 2009 to 2013. He presently serves as Of Counsel to the Balch & Bingham law firm.

Jones’ public service activities include serving as Chair of the Business Council of Alabama, as a director of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Symphony, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

He has been an active supporter of education, in particular the University of Alabama where he was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. Jones and the Jones Family Foundation have further supported the University through endowing chairs at the Business, Law, and Medical Schools.

Jones’ other charitable efforts include support of the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society, and leadership roles and fundraising efforts on behalf of various charities, including the Salvation Army, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Alabama Liver Foundation.

Jones and his late wife, Charlene Angelich Jones, have three children, Holly Jones Terrell, Dr. Allison Jones Holt, and D. Paul Jones, III, and four grandchildren.

He is married to Catherine Sloss Jones of Birmingham, who was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2017.

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