Former congressman, conservation director Jim Martin dies
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Former congressman and Alabama conservation commissioner James D. “Jim” Martin has died.
An obituary says the Gadsden resident died Monday at the age of 99. No cause of death is listed.
Martin helped build the modern Republican Party in Alabama. He became the first Republican elected to the U.S. House from Alabama in seven decades in 1964 and served one term.
Martin also staged unsuccessful bids for governor and U.S. Senate.
In 1987, the businessman became commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
As commissioner, Martin helped create the Forever Wild land preservation program using interest from oil and gas lease money to set aside land for future generations. Alabama state parks were also renovated during his tenure.
Survivors include Martin’s wife Pat Martin.