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The Jim Wright Papers: Timeline

Timeline of Jim Wright's life and career

  • Born Dec. 22, 1922 in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Graduated Adamson High School, Dallas 1939
  • Attended Weatherford College, 1939-1940
  • Attended University of Texas, 1940-1941
  • Enlisted in Army Air Force 1941, Box 1214
  • Married Mary “Mab” Lemon, 1942. Had five children with her.
  • Elected to Texas House of Representatives 1947-1949
  • Mayor of Weatherford 1950-1954
  • Elected to U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 1955. Served until June 30, 1989.
  • Ran for United States Senate in the Special Election of 1961, placing 4th in a field of 70 candidates in the election that eventually was won by John Tower (R). 
  • Was with JFK in Fort Worth on day of his death, November 22, 1963 and in the motorcade in Dallas when he was killed. Wright with President Kennedy in Fort Worth, November 22, 1963
  • Authored The Coming Water Famine, 1966.
  • Signed Nixon peace treaty, 1968. Photo in Box 1217
  • Married Betty Hays in 1972.
  • House Majority Leader from 1976 to1986
  • Authored book Reflections of a Public Man, 1984.
  • Speaker of the House 1987-1989, photo in 1217
  • He had a column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 10 years.
  • Democratic National Convention chair 1988, photo in Box 1220 (oversize)
  • Delivers a television address to the Russian people while leading a congressional delegation to the Soviet Union, 1987. Photos in oversize Box 1220. Accession 2017, Box 42 (letters & lapel pins)
  • Resigned as Speaker June 30, 1989 photo in Box 1218
  • Texas Christian University received papers and artifacts spanning his career, 1989, Box 1218; Accession 2019, Box 4
  • Speaker of the House 1987-1989, photo in Box 1218
  • Authored book “Worth it All” 1993
  • Authored book Balance of Power: Presidents and Congress from the era of McCarthy to the Age of Gingrich, 1996.
  • Authored book The Flying Circus: Pacific War-1943” 2005
  • From 2001-2015 he hosted the annual Jim Wright Symposium, held at Texas Christian University., Photo in Accession 2015, Box 4
  • Taught at Texas Christian University 1990-2009 “Congress and the Presidents.”
  • Received the High Impact Legacy Award at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce for the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s last visit to the city, 2013
  • Received the “Golden Deeds” award from the National Exchange Club in 2014.
  • Died May 6, 2015 in Fort Worth.
  • Mr. Wright’s family donates seven handwritten journals, spanning 1971-1991 (not inclusive) from his family in 2016 to Texas Christian University’s Special Collections department.
  • Permanent exhibit on 3rd floor of Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library established after library renovations in 2016.