Bauer, former telephone co. president, dead at 90

William Cecil Bauer, a former president of South Central Bell who worked with a biracial committee to improve race relations in Alabama, has died at the age of 90.

Bauer died Monday at Saint Catherine's Village in Madison County.

Bauer will be buried in a private family service in Lakewood Memorial Park in Madison County.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bauer received his engineering degree from Louisiana State University.

Following graduation, he went to work as a lineman for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company - the predecessor of what later became South Central Bell then BellSouth and now AT&T.

Bauer worked his way through the management ranks, retiring in 1978 as president of South Central Bell for Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Bauer also served as the national president of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

In 1969, Bauer joined with civic and community leaders in Birmingham to create the biracial Community Affairs Committee, which ultimately brought together more than 80 leaders -- black and white -- from every segment of the community to discuss racial problems. Bauer was the group's one-time chairman.

Survivors include his wife, Jean Roberts Bauer of Jackson; and some nieces and nephews.