Famous Texans

There are many Texans who have come to the attention of the general public. Politicians, actors, musicians, sportsman and business people have all emanated from this state and have made a name for themselves on the national, and even the international stage.

The Bush family have produced two Presidents of the United States. George Bush senior was president of the United States between 1989 and 1993. He was born in 1924 and was a Texan Congressman from 1966 until 1970. Before taking presidency, he was the vice president under Ronald Regan between 1981 and 1989. Bush’s son George W Bush was born in 1946. In 1994 became the 46th Governor of Texas and went on to become the President after the 2000 election. He served 8 years in office and there is no doubt that his time in office was heavily influenced by the attacks on New York on September 11th, 2001.

There has always been a close relationship between Texans and Hollywood. Larry Hagman who was born in Fort Worth in 1931 came to the world’s attention playing the ruthless oil tycoon J.R. Ewing in the 1980s series Dallas. It was screened around the world and its popularity reached its height when on March 21st, 1980 350 million viewers world-wide tuned in to find out who had shot J.R.

Larry Hagman as JR

Joan Crawford was born in San Antonio in 1906. Despite growing up suffering from great hardship and poverty, she soon entered the dancing profession and in 1925 moved to Hollywood.  She had a contract with the film studio MGM between 1925 and 1942 and became one of their biggest stars. She them moved studios to Warner brothers and in 1945 she was awarded an Oscar for best actress for performance in the film “Mildred Pierce”.

George Foreman was born in Marshall Texas in 1944. He had a highly successful amateur career which culminated in him winning gold at the 1968 Olympic Gold in the Heavyweight boxing competition. On turning professional he became the world heavyweight champion, and in a career, that took him up to the age of 48, he won 76 out of his 81 fights.

In a way it is a pity that his most remembered will be the 1974 fight against Mohammed Ali in Zaire. The fight labelled the “rumble in the jungle”, saw Foreman attack Ali from the start. For most of the contest Ali merely defended himself allowing Foreman to tire himself out. Eventually an exhausted Foreman was knocked out by Ali in the 8th round.

A current sporting star dominating the international scene is Dallas born Jordan Spieth. Although he is still only 24 he has already won 3 majors in his 14 wins as a professional golfer. Growing up in the Dallas area his golfing skills were nurtured on the course at the Brookhaven Country Club just outside of Dallas.

Another sportsman born in Dallas is one of USA’s greatest ever Olympians, Michael Johnson. He won four Olympic Gold medals and also held the world and Olympic record times for both the 200 m and the 400 m. At Atlanta in 1996 he became the only athlete ever to win both the 200m and 400m at the same Olympic Games. His eight gold medals he won at the World Championships makes him the most the second most successful world championship after Usain Bolt.

There are occasions when someone’s notoriety is not due to positive reasons. Lee Harvey Oswald moved to Dallas at the age of 5 but throughout the remainder of his childhood he moved around the country. In his early adult life, he served in the Marines but soon started to take an interest in Marxist ideology. After a short period of living in Russia he moved back to Texas where he struggled to hold down a regular job. On November 22nd, 1963 at 12.30 pm in Dallas Oswald fire 3 shots at the USA President John F Kennedy killing him.

Two days later the tables were turned, as Oswald was being escorted through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters he was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. The state of Texas has produced many individuals who have become household names around the world.