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Jamaica Harris Bowser For The Birmingham Times
Feb 1, 2023
It’s an unseasonably warm January morning, and Dr. Shelley Stewart is sitting in his home office in Shelby County, Alabama. At first glance, the space looks like an ordinary room with books on shelves, papers on a desk, and a file cabinet against a wall. But this room holds a wealth of mementos that demonstrate why Stewart is an icon in Birmingham and beyond. Shelley “The Playboy” Stewart was the radio voice for the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, became co-owner of the city’s WATV-AM, and co-founded o2ideas, an award-winning full-service advertising agency based in the Magic City. To many, Stewart is a Civil Rights Foot Soldier and radio great. But Stewart, who spent his childhood living in basements and barns, doesn’t see himself that way. “I’m that same little homeless street kid even to this day—no more, no less,” said Stewart, 88.
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