A beloved leader of the Gadsden-Etowah County Community has died. Former US representative and creator of Alabama’s Forever Wild program, James D. Martin passed away this morning at the age of 99. Martin was born on September 1, 1918 in Tarrant. Martin served in World War Two, becoming a war hero by helping to liberate a concentration camp in Germany.
When Martin was elected as a Republican Congressman in 1965, he was the first Republican elected for that position for more than Seventy years. Etowah County Republican Party Communications Director J Holland says Martin did things for Alabama that we are still benefiting from today.
Holland also describes Martin’s love and passion for preserving the state’s wildlife and says he would go to great lengths to get what he wanted.
Martin served as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources until 1999. Holland says that Martin was an active member of the community, a loving family-man and is considered a national treasure.
Martin holds the distinction of being among the longest living members of Congress. He was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009. In 2013 Governor Robert Bentley declared October 22 James D. Martin Day.