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John Connally

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John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. as U.S. Secretary of the Navy
61st United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 11, 1971 – June 12, 1972
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by David M. Kennedy
Succeeded by George P. Shultz
39th Governor of Texas
In office
January 15, 1963 – January 21, 1969
Lieutenant Preston Smith
Preceded by Price Daniel
Succeeded by Preston Smith
55th United States Secretary of the Navy
8th Secretary under the DoD
In office
January 25, 1961 – December 20, 1961
President John F. Kennedy
Preceded by William B. Franke
Succeeded by Fred Korth
Personal details
Born John Bowden Connally, Jr.
February 27, 1917(1917-02-27)
Floresville, Texas
Died June 15, 1993(1993-06-15) (aged 76)
Houston, Texas
Resting place Texas State Cemetery

Austin, Texas

Political party Democratic (1946–1973)
Republican (1973–1993)
Spouse(s) Idanell Brill "Nellie" Connally (married, 1940-his death)
Relations Merrill Connally, Wayne Connally (brothers)
Children Kathleen (1942–1959)

John B. Connally, III
Sharon C. Ammann
Mark M. Connally

Alma mater University of Texas Law School
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Lieutenant Commander
Battles/wars World War II

John Bowden Connally, Jr. (February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993), was an American politician. He served as the 39th Governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under John F. Kennedy, and Secretary of Treasury under Richard Nixon. While he was Governor of Texas in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car where President Kennedy was assassinated, and he was badly wounded during the shooting.

Early years, education, and military service

Connally was born in Floresville, Texas, near San Antonio. He is one of the seven children born to Lela (née Wright) and John Bowden Connally, Sr., a dairy and tenant farmer.[1]

While Connally attended Floresville High School, he was one of the graduates who attended college. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. At University of Texas at Austin, he was the student body president and a member of the Friar Society. He subsequently graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the examination bar.

Connally served in the United States Navy during World War II, first as an assistant to James V. Forrestal. Then, he served again as part of the planning staff for the invasion of North Africa by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He transferred to the South Pacific Theater, where he served with distinction. He was a fighter-plane director aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex and won a Bronze Star for bravery. He was shifted to another Essex class aircraft carrier which was the USS Bennington. He won a Legion of Merit. He was also involved in the military campaigns in the Gilbert, Marshall, Ryukyu, and Philippine islands. He quit the military in 1946 at the rank of lieutenant commander.[2]

After he was released from the navy, Connally practiced law in the Alvin Wirtz law firm. He quit practicing law when Lyndon B. Johnson, who was a newly elected senator, persuaded him to return to Washington, D.C. to serve as a key assistant. He had close relations with Johnson before he started his navy career and kept them till Johnson's death in 1973.


Connally's main legal customers were the Texas oil wealthy person, Sid W. Richardson and Perry Bass, who was Richardson's nephew and partner, both of Fort Worth. Richardson's family dynasty business at the time was estimated at $200 million to $1 billion. Under Richardson's custody, Connally had experience in many enterprises and received tips on real estate purchases. The work required the Connallys to relocate to Fort Worth. When Richardson died in 1959, Connally was named as the profitable position of co-executor of the estate.[3]

As Governor of Texas

Connally served as Governor of Texas from 1963–1969. In the campaigns of 1964 and 1966, Connally defeated Republicans, Jack Crichton, a Dallas oil industrialist, and Thomas Everton Kennerly, Sr. (1903–2000), of Houston, respectively. He won with margins of 73.8 percent and 72.8 percent, respectively, giving him greater influence with the most of the legistlature being Democratic.[4]

Connally was governor during a time of great expansion of higher education in Texas. He signed into law the creation of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He appointed members of a governing body who backed the entry of women into previously male Texas A&M University in College Station, having been prompted to take such action by State Senator William T. "Bill" Moore of Bryan, who had first proposed the admission of women to the university in 1953.[5]


Connally died on April 15, 1993 in Houston, Texas from pulmonary fibrosis, aged 76.


  1. Severo, Richard (June 16, 1993). "John Connally of Texas, a Power In 2 Political Parties, Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  2. Charles Ashman, Connally: The Adventures of Big Bad John, New York: William Morrow & Company, 1974, p. 62
  3. Ashman, Connally, pp, 70–71
  4. Election Statistics, Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections, Gubernatorial elections
  5. Robert C. Borden, "Bull of the Brazos dies: Moore was champion of Texas A&M," Bryan-College Station Eagle, May 28, 1999, pp. 1–3

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