Al Lineberry Sr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 13, 1918. Lineberry attended Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Law and Science in Atlanta and served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He moved to Asheville, North Carolina, and served briefly on its school board before moving to Greensboro in 1955, where he was longtime chairman of the board of Hanes-Lineberry Funeral Service.
Lineberry served on the Greensboro school board from 1965 to 1973, and was chairman in 1971 when the court order for for busing came into effect. He was also president of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1968, the N.C. Funeral Directors Association, and Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. Lineberry was a member of the Boy Scouts of America advisory board, the United Way of Greater Greensboro, the Greensboro College Board of Trustees, First Baptist Church of Greensboro, and the Kiwanis Club, among others. In 1985, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives.