J. Pepper Bryars

Senior Fellow

J. Pepper Bryars

Senior Fellow

Author and columnist J. Pepper Bryars began his career writing for military newspapers while serving in the Alabama Army National Guard. He then became a staff reporter for the Mobile Press-Register, spent time as an aide to Congressman and then Governor Bob Riley, and served as a presidential appointee in the Bush Administration managing legislative issues for the Defense Department.

Pepper was also a strategic communication advisor to U.S. military forces operating in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He was twice awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service, once for service in Baghdad during the early days of the Iraq War and a second time for work at the Pentagon.

He is the author of two books, “American Warfighter: Brotherhood, Survival, and Uncommon Valor in Iraq, 2003-2011,” which received praise in Military Review, The Professional Journal of the U.S. Army, and the award-winning novel “A Forgotten Man.” He also authored a popular weekly conservative opinion column that was published in the print editions of the Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, Huntsville Times, the Mississippi Press, and at AL.com, and he was the editor of YellowhammerNews.com.

Pepper is a graduate of McGill-Toolen High School and Spring Hill College, both in his hometown of Mobile.

He now lives in Huntsville with his wife and five children.


1 Pepper is the youngest (and arguably the most opionated) of seven children.

2 His father was a firefighter for the City of Mobile and his mother was a correspondent for the Mobile Press-Register.

3 He’s a proud holder of a “First Families” certificate from the Alabama Genealogical Society, recognizing that his ancestors settled here before statehood.

Publications by J. Pepper Bryars

HUNTSVILLE TV: J. Pepper Bryars talks abortion, taxes on WAAY 31

Pepper Bryars, a senior fellow with the Alabama Policy Institute, recently appeared on the Guerilla Politics program on Huntsville WAAY 31. Bryars discussed support for the strong abortion bill in the Alabama Legislature and API’s desire to see a tax decrease to offset the impact of the gas tax increase passed earlier this year. Watch […]

HUNTSVILLE RADIO: J. Pepper Bryars explains how Alabama can defend religious freedom

API Senior Fellow J. Pepper Bryars recently discussed how Alabama’s local and state governments should defend our religious freedom on the Fred Holland Show, 105.3 FM WTKI in Huntsville. Bryars noted how the Freedom From Religion Foundation has implicitly or directly threatened to sue more than 40 Alabama school systems, local governments, and elected officials […]