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William Pettus Hobby

Gov. William Pettus Hobby

  • August 25, 1917 - January 18, 1921
  • Democratic
  • March 26, 1878
  • June 7, 1964
  • Texas
  • Married twice--Willie Cooper; Oveta Culp (two children)
  • Succeeded


WILLIAM PETTUS HOBBY was born in Moscow, Texas. After attending Houston High School, he went into the newspaper business, starting as a clerk with the Houston Post-Dispatch in 1895 and rising to writer, city editor, and finally managing editor. In 1907 he became manager and part owner of the Beaumont, Texas Enterprise, remaining in that position until he won the office of Lieutenant Governor of Texas, a position from which he succeeded to the governorship upon the impeachment of James Ferguson. As governor during World War I, he oversaw the establishment of the draft system in Texas and the creation of numerous military camps. He was nominated in his own right in 1918 after defeating Ferguson’s comeback attempt in the Democratic primary. Winning the general election, he made provisions for drought relief, established requirements in party primaries, and increased state aid for education and highways. He also established a Board of Control, putting into effect the state’s first budget system. After leaving office, Hobby returned to his newspaper career, including ownership of the Beaumont Enterprise and the Beaumont Journal. He also merged and then became owner of the Houston Post and the Houston Dispatch, renaming the paper the Houston Post-Dispatch. As president of the Houston Post Company, he acquired KPRC radio and KPRC-TV in Houston, becoming chairman of the board in 1955. He died and was buried in Houston.


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. G. New York: James T. White & Company.

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