b. 1910 – Dayton, Texas
After receiving a law degree from Baylor University Daniel practiced law in Liberty. Well-known for defending two murder suspects, he used his popularity to win a seat in the Texas House in 1939 and was an outspoken member of the “Immortal 56,” an alliance of state legislators strongly opposed to a state sales tax. He was elected speaker in 1943 and served in the Pacific and in Japan during World War II.
As the state’s youngest attorney general, he defended the University of Texas law school in the Heman Marion Sweatt case, disbanded most organized gambling operations, and defended Texas’ ownership of the Tidelands. As a U.S. Senator Daniel drafted a Tidelands bill signed by Eisenhower and developed stringent narcotics legislation.
Daniel was nominated for governor in 1956, stating that he would “rather be governor of Texas than president of the United States.” He supported higher teacher’s salaries and water conservation, improved care for the mentally impaired, and established the Texas State Library and Archives. After losing a bid for an unprecedented fourth term in 1962, he practiced law in Liberty and Austin. Daniel led the Office of Emergency Preparedness under President Johnson and later filled a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court.