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Waggoner Carr
Birth: Oct. 1, 1918
Fairlie
Hunt County
Texas, USA
Death: Feb. 25, 2004
Austin
Travis County
Texas, USA

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Attorney General of Texas. JFK Assassination Figure. Born Vincent Waggoner Carr in Fairlie in Hunt County east of Dallas, his family moved to Lubbock in 1932 when the family bank in Fairlie closed. Consequently, he graduated from Lubbock High School in 1936. As a young man, he worked as a farm hand, magazine salesman and theater usher. In 1940, he completed his bachelor of business administration degree at Texas Tech University (then Texas Technological College) in Lubbock. Although he immediately began his legal studies at the University of Texas at Austin law school, he did not graduate until 1947. His studies were interrupted by the beginning of World War II in which he served for three years as an Army Air Corps pilot. He then returned home, completed his law degree and opened a private firm with his brother. In 1948, Carr was appointed assistant district attorney for the 72nd Judicial District in Lubbock. He was also the elected county attorney for Lubbock County from 1949 to 1951. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Lubbock District 19 in 1950. During his ten years of service, he focused on West Texas water quality and availability. Under his leadership, the legislature proposed a constitutional amendment and passed enabling legislation to establish the Texas Water Development Board. At its creation, the board was authorized to issue up to $200 million in water development bonds for the purpose of funding local water projects. Carr also helped to establish a code of ethics for legislators and lobbyists. He promoted tourism and industrial development. He was Speaker of the house for two consecutive terms, from 1957 to 1961. Through 1958, he was the third person in Texas history to have been elected to two consecutive terms as Speaker. While in the legislature, he supported creation of the Texas Youth Council and recodification of juvenile laws, the modernization of workers' compensation statutes, reorganization of the State Insurance Board and authorization and financing of a new State Library and Archives Building in Austin, Texas. Carr was elected attorney general in 1962 and again in 1964. As attorney general, he was involved in the prosecutions of swindler Billie Sol Estes of Pecos, and Jack Ruby, or Jack Rubenstein, the Dallas nightclub owner who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Carr and his wife were among the dignitaries who ate breakfast with President and Mrs. Kennedy in Fort Worth. The president went on to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, and the Carrs flew to the Texas Panhandle for a speaking engagement. Carr learned of the tragic consequences in Dallas as his plane landed. As fate intervened, Carr participated in the investigation of the assassination. He sought to conduct a state probe, but that was blocked by the Warren Commission, which was appointed by President Johnson to determine the circumstances leading to Kennedy's death. In 1966, he ran for United States Senator, but was defeated. At the time of his loss, he had been voted the nation's best state attorney general by his peers. After leaving public office in January 1967, Carr went into private practice and eventually joined the law firm of DeLeon and Boggins in Austin. In 1968 he ran for governor in the Democratic primary in a race to succeed his friend, the retiring John Connally. He ran third in the primary, and the nomination and the election eventually went to Preston Smith. In 1971 he was indicted and tried on charges of fraud, conspiracy and filing false reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission in what was called the "Sharpstown scandal". Acquitted of all charges in 1974, he co-authored, with Jack Keever, a book entitled "Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty" (1977). He was appointed to the board of regents of Texas Tech University, serving from 1969 to 1972. He also was state commander of the American Legion. In 1989, he was selected to chair the Action for Metropolitan Government Committee in an attempt to unite the Austin municipal and Travis County governments. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Austin City Council in 1991, and that same year he was appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to serve on a citizens' commission examining the Texas judicial system. He also wrote "Texas Politics in My Rearview Mirror", (1994) with co-author, Byron Varner. At the time of his death, he was writing books about Jesse James and the past attorneys general of Texas. Succumbing to cancer after a ten year battle, he was interred in Texas State Cemetery in Austin. (bio by: H M G) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ernestine Story Carr (1920 - ____)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Cancer
 
Burial:
Texas State Cemetery
Austin
Travis County
Texas, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 01, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8456672
Waggoner Carr
Added by: Dennis Alan Deel
 
Waggoner Carr
Added by: Anonymous
 
Waggoner Carr
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Added by: Brenda Michael
 
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