University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the David Richards Papers, 1968-1997

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Richards, David, 1933-
Title: Richards, David, Papers
Dates: 1968-1997
Abstract: Contains legal documents, correspondence, research material, and newsclipping pertaining to David Richards' career as a civil right attorney in Austin, Texas.
Accession No.: 2005-230; 2008-087
Extent: 7 ft., 5 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in 1933, David Richards was a prominent liberal activist and civil rights lawyer in Texas. Richards was raised in Waco, Texas, where he met his first wife, Governor Ann W. Richards (1933-2006). The high school sweethearts married in 1953 while attending Baylor University. After graduating in 1954, Richards enrolled in the University of Texas Law School. Upon graduation, the couple moved to Dallas where he began practicing law in 1957. In the meantime, they had four children – Cecile, Dan, Clark, and Ellen. Richards worked as a labor and civil rights attorney after moving to Austin in 1969. In addition to his private practice, he worked as head of litigation for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, attorney for the Texas Civil Liberties Union, and general counsel for the AFL-CIO of Texas. He also authored the book Once Upon a Time in Texas: A Liberal in the Lone Star State. After his divorce from Ann in 1980, Richards married his second wife, Sandy Hauser, with whom he had two children, Sam and Hallie.


Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Richards, Dorothy Ann Willis (Ann)" (accessed October 19, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The David Richards Papers, 1968-1997, contain legal documents, including depositions, testimonies, Supreme Court appeal material, and documentary exhibits as well as correspondence, research material, and news clippings that document that David Richards’ career as a civil rights attorney in Austin, Texas. The records cover voters’ rights, school reform, civil liberties, and freedom of speech cases. Additionally, the papers pertain to court cases involving a vast array of individuals and organizations, including unions, university professors, convicted felons, the New Left Education Project, and redistricting in East Texas, to name a few.


Access Restrictions

Access to portions of this collection are restricted. Contact repository for further information.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Richards, David, b. 1933 --Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
Austin (Tex.). City Council.
United States Supreme Court.
Civil rights--Texas--Cases.
Freedom of Speech--United States--Cases.
Politicians--Texas--History--20th century.
Austin (Tex.)

Related Material

See also Ann Richards Papers, 1933-2000,

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

David Richards Papers, 1968-1997, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Contact repository for more information.