Joseph M. Farley was a member of a long line of Alabama natives being himself born in Birmingham on October 6, 1927, the son of John G. and Lynne McConnell Farley.
He attended Birmingham University School, Birmingham-Southern College, earned a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University, attended graduate school of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Alabama and received a L.L.B. degree from Harvard Law School.
While engaged in the private practice of law in Birmingham he was invited to become an executive officer with the Alabama Power Company. Later in his career, he became the chief executive of Southern Nuclear Operating Company. Following his retirement in 1992, he returned to the earlier law firm as Balch & Bingham as offical council
In addition to serving as a director of Alabama Power he also accepted directorates in The Southern Company, AmSouth Bancorporation, Liberty National Life Insurance Company (now Torchmark). He also served for many years as Chairman of Southen Research Institute and as a trustee of Children's Hospital.
His civic and cultural activities were many and varies; among them are the Alabama and Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Trustee of Tuskegee University and Alabama Symphony Association. He also served industry organizations including the Instutute of Nuclear Power Operations and the Edison Electric Institute.
Mr. Farley married Sheila Shirley October 1, 1958 (dec. July 6, 1978) and had three children: Joseph M., Jr.; Thomas G.; and Mary Lynne -- and four grandchildren; Joseph M. Farley III, Virginia M. Farley, William N. Morris, and Farley S. Morris.
Mr. Farley died on May 24, 2010.