Bob Riley was born and raised in the small Clay County town of Ashland, where his family has lived on ranches and farms for many generations. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in business administration, he returned to his hometown, married his high school sweetheart, and started a small business with his brother selling eggs door-to-door. The venture grew to become one of the largest integrated poultry operations in the Southeast.
For the next 30 years, Riley ran a number of successful businesses including a grocery store, a trucking company, a car dealership, a real estate company, and a small pharmacy. He’s also been a cattleman for more than 25 years.
Riley was elected to represent Alabama’s third congressional district in 1996 and won reelection in 1998 and 2000, serving a total of three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected governor of Alabama in 2002 and won reelection to a second term in November 2006. During his tenure as Alabama’s chief executive, Riley focused on improving education, advancing Alabama’s economic interests, and promoting management and budget transparency.