Texas Governor. She served as the 45th governor of Texas from January 1991 to January 1995. She was born the during the depression years, the youngest of four children born to Robert and Mildred (Warren) Willis. She spent her early years in Waco, Texas, graduating from public high school in 1950. She received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University and a teaching certificate from the University of Texas. Following graduation she began a teaching career as an instructor of history and social studies at Fulmore Junior High School in Austin, Texas. She became active in Democratic politics at an early age, working in various campaigns to elect progressive and liberal candidates to state office. In 1976 she won her first elective office as a Travis County Court Commissioner defeating a three term incumbent. In 1982 she became the first woman in more than 50 years to win a statewide office, defeating her Republican challenger for the office of state treasurer. She rose to prominence during the 1988 Democratic National Convention as the party's keynote speaker. She gained national media attention for her famous sarcastic remark directed at wealthy Republican presidential candidate George H. W. Bush, saying "Poor George, he can't help it….he was born with a silver foot in his mouth." She was elected to the office of governor in 1990 serving one term. She was defeated for re-election by George W. Bush, the future 43rd President of the United States and son of President George H. W. Bush. Following political office she served as a senior adviser for a Washington D.C. law firm and served on the boards of Aspen Institute, J. C. Penney and T.I.G. Holdings. She was the recipient of numerous awards during her career including the Texas NAACP Presidential Award for Outstanding Contributions to Civil Rights, the Texas Women's Hall of Fame Award for Public Service and the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.