b. 1917 – Floresville, Texas
Connally graduated from Floresville High School and president of the Student Association at the University of Texas where he earned a law degree. He was Congressman Lyndon Johnson’s legislative assistant and campaign manager, his “mentor, friend and benefactor,” After serving in the U. S. Navy Reserve as a fighter director in the Pacific Theater he led an investors’ group of war veterans who owned and operated KVET, an Austin radio station. He was Secretary of the Navy under President Kennedy.
Connally was elected governor in a 1962 in a run-off against Price Daniel, and was re-elected for two terms, after surviving gunshot wounds in 1963 during the Kennedy assassination. Often involved in political fights between the liberal and conservative-moderate Texas Democrats, he considered himself to be a “conservative who believed in active government” and sought to reform state government and develop the tourism industry. He endorsed liquor by the drink, established a fine arts commission and a state historical commission, and supported the Institute of Texan Cultures, which became part of HemisFair ’68 in San Antonio. After leaving office he sought the Republican nomination for president.