US Congressman. He served as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives from the 15th District of Texas from January 3, 1965 to January 3, 1997. He joined the United States Navy at the age of 17 and served from 1945 to 1946. He earned his law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. He also served as a lieutenant in the United States Army from 1950 to 1952. After practicing law in Rio Grande Valley, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1952 and served in this position until 1965. He was the first Latino to serve in the Texas state house. In 1964 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the 15th District of Texas and served as a member of Congress from 1965 to his retirement in 1997. During his tenure in the Congress, he served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1981 to 1997, where he lead the way in passing bills that reorganized the agricultural lending system, the farm insurance system, the United States Department of Agriculture, and pesticide laws.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye