Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Texas Tuesday!

Robert Douglas "Bob" Bullock (10 Jul 1929 – 18 Jun 1999), was a Democratic politician from Texas, whose career spanned four decades. His service culminated in his term as Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 15 Jan 1991–19 Jan 1999, during the terms of Governors Ann Richards and George W. Bush.

Bullock was renowned for his blunt and sometimes politically incorrect speaking style, but also for his trademark closing line "God bless Texas."

Born in Hillsboro, Bullock attended Hill College, a junior college. He received his bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock in 1955 and held a law degree from Baylor University in Waco. His political papers are housed in the Baylor Collection of Political Materials. Bullock also served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

Bullock's adult life was marred by alcoholism and divorce; he had a total of five marriages, although some of them were repeats. He stopped drinking in 1981 and remained active with Alcoholics Anonymous for the remainder of his life. He died on June 18, 1999, from congestive heart failure complicated by cancer, at his home in Austin.

A lover of Texas history, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Texas State History Museum, in Austin. Opened 2 years after Bullock's death, it was named in his honor. The second-floor lobby of the museum features a seven-foot-tall bronze statue of Bullock holding a giant gavel, next to a gallery of items and a video from his career in politics.

Bullock’s most public and lasting monument was the revitalization, after years of neglect, of the Texas State Cemetery where he was laid to rest on June 20, 1999.

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