ALABAMA (WAFF) - The former Alabama Education Association leader Paul Hubbert has passed away, according to Alabama democrat Joe Reed.Reed confirmed his death as he was with him at the time of his passing and said Hubbert has been ill for a while.
Reed said he lost a colleague and a friend.
"Alabama in general and the educators in particular lost a champion and a friend," Reed said. "Men like Hubbert come along once or twice in a lifetime. He was dedicated to working people. He knew the plight of the poor. He believed in the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God."
Reed said he worked with Hubbert for 42 years.
"I know first hand that he was honest, he was truthful, his word was his bond," said Reed. "He believed in fairness to everyone."
Hubbert had most recently served as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer for AEA.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford responded to Hubbert's death as well:
"Dr. Paul Hubbert changed Alabama. From the dramatic improvements to public education, to the rise of AEA as a political force in Montgomery, Dr. Hubbert made a huge impact on our state. He fought for and won huge victories for educators, but he also fought for education and to make sure every child in Alabama had a chance to get a quality education. I was privileged to know him, and proud to call him my friend and mentor. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."
Hubbert was born in Jasper and attended Hubbertville School. He went on to graduate from Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama) in 1959. He then received his Master's and Doctor's degrees in School Administration and Finance from the University of Alabama.
According to the AEA, for three years, he served as Business Manager of the Tuscaloosa City Schools before moving to Troy, Alabama, serving as Superintendent of Troy City Schools between 1967-69.
On March 1, 1969, he became Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Alabama Education Association.
Hubbert directly impacted every major piece of school reform and legislation affecting education employees approved by the Alabama Legislature for more than four decades.
He and the AEA pushed through or helped pass several important education bills that improved school facilities and helped teachers and students.
Hubbert retired from the AEA on Dec. 31, 2011.
He made his first political race in 1990. He won the Democratic nomination and came close to unseating the incumbent governor in the general election.
In recognition of the 25-year liver transplant survivor, the University of Alabama Birmingham established the Paul Hubbert Legacy of Courage Award which is presented annually to someone working to improve the lives of those living with liver disease.
Hubbert was married to Ann McDonald and they had two daughters and four grandchildren.
Dr. and Mrs. Hubbert dedicated the proceeds of their entire estate to the University of Alabama College of Education to provide scholarships for students pursuing certified teaching degrees. The Paul and Ann Hubbert Endowed Scholarships are awarded to Alabama residents who require financial assistance to attend college and who aspire to achieve great things for Alabama's public schools.