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William P. Clements

Gov. William P. Clements

  • January 15, 1979 - January 17, 1983
    January 19, 1987 - January 14, 1991
  • Republican
  • April 12, 1917
  • May 28, 2011
  • Texas


The state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, WILLIAM P. CLEMENTS JR. was born in Dallas, Texas. He attended Southern Methodist University. In 1937, he began working in the Texas oil fields. In 1947, he founded SEDCO, Inc., and served as chairman and chief executive officer. He was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense from 1973 to 1977. He was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1975 and was awarded the Bronze Palm by President Gerald Ford in 1976. During his first term as governor, he worked for tough anticrime measures and improvements in teaching basics in school. Defeated for reelection during an economic recession, he came back to serve a second term four years later. With recession still affecting the state’s economy, he focused on job creation, economic diversification, and recruitment of out-of-state companies. Clements also served as president of the American Association of Oil Well Drilling Contractors. He died May 29, 2011.


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