37th Governor of Texas. Born in Angelina County, spent his early years at Magnolia Hills, the family home located near Woodville, Tyler County, graduated from high school in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, attended the University of Texas (1924), dropped out to work in a refinery then re-enrolled in 1928, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1931 and an LL.B in 1933, moved to south Texas opening a law office. He soon won election to the state senate and at 27 years of age, was the youngest member ever to sit in that body. Shivers was in the Army during World War II and for 2½ years served with the Allied Military Government in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany.. After his service, he managed his father-in-law's business interests until politics called. In 1946 be became the lieutenant governor, and was re-elected in 1948. As lieutenant governor he initiated the practice of appointing senators to specific committees and setting the daily agenda. Subsequently, the Senate passed a right-to-work law, reorganized the public school system with the Gilmer-Aikin Laws, appropriated funds for higher education, including the Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University), and provided monies for improvements of state hospitals and highways. He became Governor upon the sudden and unexpected death of Beauford Jester in July, 1949, the only lieutenant governor to gain the governor's office through the death of his predecessor. In 1950, Shivers won election as the governor in his own right; then set the three-term precedent by running again and winning in 1952 and 1954. In 1952, Shivers proved so popular that he was listed on the gubernatorial ballot as the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties (Democrat Shivers handily defeated Republican Shivers). He held the position from 1949 until 1956, serving 3 terms, the first to do so. During his administrations, he helped create the Legislative Council and the Legislative Budget Board, which determines what legislation reaches a vote and how the state spends its revenue, improved retirement benefits for state employees; and reorganized the state's educational program, and is also remembered for strong leadership in the Tidelands issue, or Texas' insistence that state rather than federal authority extended over off-shore drilling operations for oil and natural gas; also appropriations for the state's hospitals were increased and a tax was levied on natural gas to cover rising state expenditures. In addition, a Commission on Higher Education was created to coordinate Texas state colleges and universities. At the same time, scandal developed over charges that funds of the Texas Veterans' Land Board, of which Shivers was a member, had been mismanaged. Shivers declined to run for reelection in 1956, instead returning to his business interests in Mission, Texas. He served on the board of directors or as chairman for a number of banks, including the Austin National Bank (later Interfirst Bank Austin) and Texas Commerce Bank. He was president of the United States Chamber of Commerce and, for a time, chairman of the advisory board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. In 1973 Shivers was a appointed to a six-year term to the University of Texas Board of Regents, whereupon he served as chairman for four years. After his death from a massive heart attack, he was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
Bio by: H M G
Marialice Shary Shivers