Chief Executives of Texas: From Stephen F. Austin to John B. Connally, Jr.

By Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr. | Go to book overview
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INTRODUCTION

Since the Revolution of 1836, forty-five men and two women have served as chief executives of Texas, either as president of the republic or governor of the state. Although Stephen F. Austin never served in an elective office, he is considered the "Father of Texas" and deserves special mention in this book.

A summary of the Texas chief executives' lives reveals some interesting patterns. They were a fairly well educated group. Nineteen attended college, thirteen graduated, and twenty-seven held law degrees or were admitted to the bar. Most of them, in fact, made their living as lawyers when they were not in public office, but other professions are represented, including banking, business, farming and ranching, soldiery, and medicine.

The first twenty-three chief executives of Texas were not native born (Anglo immigration did not begin in earnest until after 1820), but most of the early leaders were southerners. Of the first two dozen during the Revolution, Republic, and early statehood periods, only five were born outside the South. More important is that most of the

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