Dolph Briscoe Jr.

Dolph Briscoe Jr.

Quick Facts on Dolph Briscoe Jr.

  • Born in 1923 in Uvalde, Texas.
  • At the age of 9 is invited by Gov. Ross Sterling, a friend of his father, to stay in the Governor’s Mansion and sleep in Sam Houston’s bed.
  • Graduates from Uvalde High School as valedictorian.
  • Graduates from The University of Texas with a bachelor’s of business administration in 1943.
  • Joins the Army; serves in Southeast Asia during World War II.
  • Elected to the state Legislature in 1948; serves until 1957.
  • Leaves politics to manage his family’s ranching and business interests.
  • In 1960 becomes the youngest person to become president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; spearheads efforts to eradicate the screwworm, a deadly menace to cattle.
  • Upon his father’s death becomes the owner and manager of one of the largest and most diverse ranches in Texas; by 1972 is the state’s largest individual landowner.
  • Serves as Texas governor from 1973­­–1979.
  • As governor, adds $4 billion in new state funds for public education and higher education, increases teacher salaries, expands services by the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, establishes the first toll-free hotline for runaway children, appoints more women and minorities than any previous administration, appoints the first African American district judge.
  • Gives $15 million to UT Center for American History, the largest gift to the center by an individual; the center is named in his honor.