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Dorothy Ann Willis Richards

Gov. Dorothy Ann Willis Richards

  • January 15, 1991 - January 17, 1995
  • Democratic
  • September 1, 1933
  • September 13, 2006
  • Texas
  • Baylor University, University of Texas
  • Married David Richards (divorced); four children


ANN W. RICHARDS was born in Lakeview, Texas and earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in Waco in 1954. She was elected Travis County commissioner in 1976 and was reelected in 1980. She was elected Texas state treasurer in 1982 and was reelected in 1986. In 1988 she was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention; she also chaired the 1992 convention in New York. She introduced the concept of site-based management in the educational system to put more power in the hands of parents and teachers. With respect to law enforcement, she increased prison space, cut the release of violent offenders, introduced a substance abuse program in Texas prisons, and opposed the sale of assault weapons and “cop-killer” bullets. Richards was noted for her unprecedented appointments of women and minorities to high-level posts. She has won several awards, among which are Woman of the Year by the Texas Women’s Political Caucus in 1981; the Award of Merit for “Outstanding Elected Democratic Women Holding Public Office” from the National Federal of Democratic Women; the 1992 National Governors Association Chairman’s Award for her State Progress Report in Education; the 1984 Governor’s Award for exceptional contributions to the selection, development, and promotion of women in state government. She was buried at the Texas State Cemetery.


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Governors of Texas, 1846-present

Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors Association, 1994.

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