Former legislator Al Knight dies

A former Shelby County state representative, Al Knight, who many credit with being instrumental in leading the county out of a period of indebtedness in the early 1990s, had died.

Knight was remembered at a memorial service at American Village on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Knight fell at his home about two weeks ago, said State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana. That fall led to a severe injury, and Knight was taken off life support on Sunday and died shortly thereafter, Hill said.

Knight represented North Shelby County in the legislature, was elected in 1986 and served for 12 years.

“Al was one of the first Republicans in Shelby County and was among the group who got the Republican party organized in the north end of the county,” Hill said. “He was elected the same year I was. Butch Ellis was in the state senate at that time.”

Hill and Ellis credited Knight with helping to push through a one-cent sales tax in 1992, which enabled the county to come out of default on its bond debt.

“That sales tax would have never gotten through the legislature without Al and Mike Hill backing it,” Ellis said.

Knight also co-sponsored legislation that led to the establishment of the American Village, Ellis said. Knight later served on the American Village board of directors. Knight also served at one time on the board of the University of Montevallo.