Born in Mason County, Texas, Coke R. Stevenson was largely self-educated. An attorney, banker, businessman, and rancher, he served as Kimble County Attorney from 1914 to 1918, Kimble County Judge from 1918 to 1921, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1928 to 1938-during which time he was Speaker for four years, and Lieutenant Governor from 1939 until 1941, when he succeeded to the governorship upon the resignation of Wilbert O’Daniel. Elected to two full terms in his own right, he retired the state’s public debt, and was known for his strong support of higher education. After serving the longest period as governor of Texas until that time, he left office in 1947, returning to his ranch near Junction, Texas. The following year, he lost the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate to Lyndon B. Johnson by eighty-seven votes in a disputed election. He died in San Angelo, Texas and was buried on his ranch in Kimble County.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. F. New York: James T. White & Company.