An Inventory of a William Pettus Hobby, Jr. Scrapbook of at the Texas State Archives, 1989
William (Bill) Pettus Hobby, Jr., served as Lieutenant Governor of Texas for eighteen years, from 1973 to 1991, longer than any previous holder of that office. Bill Hobby was born on January 19, 1932 in Houston, the son of former Texas Governor William P. Hobby, Sr. and Oveta Culp Hobby, commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps in World War II and later first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. He graduated with a history degree from Rice University in 1953 and then served three years (1954-1957) as an intelligence officer in the Navy. Subsequently, he began his private career in publishing and broadcasting on the staff of his father's newspaper, the Houston Post, assuming increasing managerial responsibilities and becoming executive editor and president in 1965.
Bill Hobby began his public career in 1959, serving as parliamentarian of the Texas Senate under the guidance of Lieutenant Governor Ben Ramsey. A few years later President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the Presidential Task Force on Suburban Problems and to the National Citizens Advisory Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation. In 1965, Governor John Connally appointed Hobby to a term as a regent for the University of Houston. In 1969, Governor Preston Smith appointed him to the Texas Air Control Board and to the chair of the Senate Interim Committee on Welfare Reform, to conduct a review of the state's welfare system.
In his first attempt for an elected office, Hobby sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in Texas in 1972. He won the primary election in a run-off and was elected to the office in the November general election. After the Texas Constitution was changed to lengthen the term of office from two to four years, Hobby won re-election in 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986. The 1972 primary run-off turned out to be the stiffest challenge of Hobby's political career. After 1972, Hobby never faced any serious opposition in subsequent Democratic primaries and was able to easily defeat his Republican challenger in the 1974 and 1978 elections. The Republican party gained strength in Texas in the late 1970s and 1980s, but Hobby won reelection in 1982 and 1986. In 1987, Hobby announced he would not seek reelection or other public office after his term expired in 1991.
As Lieutenant Governor, Hobby performed gubernatorial duties in the Governor's absence, presided over the Texas Senate, and also served in the following leadership positions of state government: chair of the Governor's Energy Advisory Council (GEAC) (1973-1977), the Texas Energy Advisory Council (TEAC) (1977-1979), the special advisory committee which recommended the Texas Sunset Act (1970s), and the Joint Advisory Committee on Educational Services to the Deaf (1976-1979); co-chair of the Texas Energy and Natural Resource Advisory Council (TENRAC) (1979-1983); vice-chair of the Criminal Justice Policy Council; ex officio member of the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; and member of the Select Committee on Public Education (1983-1984). He was also chair of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (1974).
Over his years as Lieutenant Governor, Hobby gained a reputation as an astute fiscal manager and parliamentary leader in the Texas Senate. Some of the highlights of Hobby's years as Lieutenant Governor included reforms in the appropriations process such as zero-based budgeting, which required agencies to justify their budgets regardless of previous budget levels, and a requirement that the fiscal impact of bills be determined and reported to the Legislature in advance of passage. Also passed during his tenure were the indigent health care plan, the Texas water plan, and the school finance bill of 1984 that redistributed state funds among the state's school districts, required teacher testing, and created the controversial "no-pass-no-play" rule.
Hobby returned to Houston in 1991 to continue his journalistic and business career. He is chairman of the board of H and C Communications, Inc. which owns a radio station and six television stations. He is married to Diana P. Stallings and they are the parents of four children.
This scrapbook contains photographs and letters presented in 1989 to Lieutenant Governor William Pettus Hobby, Jr., in honor of his service to the people of Texas. Letters congratulate Hobby on his years as the Lieutenant Governor; some noting specific achievements and others commenting generally. Hobby served as the lieutenant governor from 1973-1991. At the time this scrapbook was compiled in 1989, his service totalled 17 years.
The letters in the scrapbook are primarily from then current and former state senators, state representatives, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Courts of Appeals, other state officials, U.S. Congressmen, and university officials. Most of the letters are addressed to Hobby, though a few are addressed to Senator John Montford, the senator who requested the letters and photos for the May 5, 1989 session of the state senate when Hobby was honored. Most of the letters are accompanied by photographs of the author of the letter. While a few of the photos are views of the author with Hobby, most images are portrait views of just the author. The majority of the images are black and white 8 by 10 inch views, with a few 5 by 7 inch or smaller pictures present. A few color images are also present.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, home addresses of government employees and officials (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Section 552.117), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapter 552). The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail, fax, or email including enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information requested. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), William Pettus Hobby Jr. Scrapbook. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2000/159
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by William Pettus Hobby, Jr. on June 5, 2000.
Laura K. Saegert, October 2002
Detailed Description of the Records