He was born Feb. 20, 1934, in Orlando, Fla., to Odessa Lee Dobbs and Carmage Walls. Early in his childhood he moved with his family to Macon, Ga., where his father assumed the leadership and management of The Macon Telegraph.
In the late 1940s, he moved with his family to Gadsden, Ala., after his father, along with Charles Marsh, began General Newspapers, Inc. He attended high school in Gadsden and then transferred to Marion Military Institute, where he would graduate in 1952.
He attended the University of Alabama, in the School of Commerce and Business Administration, graduating in 1956 with a degree in management. While at Alabama, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was its president his senior year. He was also a member of the Air Force ROTC and was president of the Cotillion Club his senior year.
Following graduation he entered the U.S. Air Force and served for two years at Dhahran Airfield, Saudi Arabia. He was honorably discharged in 1958.
He married Yvonne Nichols in October 1976 in Houston, Texas, where he had moved his company, Walls Newspapers Consultants, and where he oversaw the operations of daily newspapers he owned in nine states. He would eventually move the company to Birmingham in 1986.
He was previously married to the late Sarah Smith of Coral Gables, Fla., whom he met while both were students at the University of Alabama. In 1959, soon after leaving the Air Force, they moved to Cleveland, Tenn., where they had two children, Carmage Lee Walls Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth “Sallie” Walls. He was the publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner. Later in Cleveland, he created Walls Newspapers Consultants and began purchasing daily newspapers in various states.
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne Walls; his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Malinak and her husband, Joseph, of Asheville, N.C.; his son, C. Lee Walls Jr. and his wife, Jeanne, and their daughters, Courtney and Jessica, of Birmingham; his stepson, Mark Miller and his wife, Vicki, of Houston, Texas; his brother, Byrd Cooper Walls of Vancouver, B.C., and his wife, Carol; his sister, Lissa Walls Vahldiek and her husband, Paul, of Houston, Texas; his stepmother, Martha Ann Walls, also of Houston; and his sister-in-law, Nell Dunn Walls, of Lanett, Ala.
There will be a service honoring and celebrating his life on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at 2 p.m., in the sanctuary of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, 2061 Kentucky Ave., Vestavia Hills, Ala., 35216 (www.vhumc.org). A reception will follow in the church’s parlor.
It was Mr. Walls’ wish that donations be made to the General Fund of the church, in lieu of flowers.