b. 1856 – Rusk, Texas
Campbell attended Trinity University (then located in Tehuacana in Limestone County) but dropped out for financial reasons. He later studied and practiced law in Longview. As the court-appointed receiver and general manager of the troubled International-Great Northern Railroad, Campbell brought the company out of bankruptcy, however after clashing with Jay Gould, noted American railroad developer, Campbell resigned and returned to his private law practice in Palestine.
At the urging of Governor Hogg, his lifelong friend, Campbell ran for governor and was elected in 1906. He initiated reform of railroad regulation, lobbying restrictions, antitrust laws, equitable taxation, pure food and drug laws, and the prison system, which ended a contract lease system for inmates and implemented more humane treatment of prisoners. He created the Department of Insurance and Banking, the State Board of Health, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Texas State Library. After returning to private practice he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.