Perhaps no lawyer impacted education in Mobile any more than Robert “Bob” Campbell III.

When Campbell died March 27 at age 81, a huge chapter in Alabama education died with him.

Campbell was a longtime attorney for the Mobile County Public School system, the largest school district in Alabama, building to 110 schools under Campbell’s service.

He handled the formation of new school districts in Saraland, Satsuma and Chickasaw. He was general counsel for the innovative Alabama School of Math and Science. He was chairman of the Board of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne.

Judges, attorneys and citizens going to court knew what a tough competitor Bob Campbell was on his feet in the courtroom. They may not have known that he had starred in basketball in high school in his home of Drexel Hill, Penn. He carried that competitiveness to Georgetown, where he played basketball and was captain of the tennis team.

A little-known fact about Bob Campbell was that he sang in a student choir next to his contemporary, Jim Croce.  

Croce, who died in a plane crash in 1973 at age 30, had become a superstar singer with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "You Don’t Mess Around with Jim," "Time in a Bottle" and "I Got A Name."  He did indeed get a name.

Campbell got his introduction to Alabama at Birmingham’s Samford University, where he graduated from the Cumberland School of Law. It was followed by military service. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in the Judicial Advocates Group (JAG) from 1967 to 1969.

And then the big move, the last move. Bob moved to Mobile, where he served as chief assistant district attorney from 1970 to 1973 before founding the law firm of Sintz Campbell Duke & Taylor, where he served as senior partner until 2019.

Bob then joined the firm of Adams & Reese LLP, where he practiced law until his passing.

Bob’s legal representation included appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional issues, voting rights and school prayer.  

Bob also played a major role on the Alabama Gulf Coast. He was the longtime city attorney for the Town of Dauphin Island.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 3, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mobile followed by a mass of Christian burial. Bob will be laid to rest in Pine Crest Cemetery.

Bob Campbell will continue to make a positive difference for the causes he believed in. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Dauphin Island Veterans Association, the United States Sports Academy, and/or Save a Stray.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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