William Womack Heath

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William Womack Heath

Normangee, Leon County, Texas
December 7, 1903

Austin, Travis County, Texas
June 22, 1971

Admitted to State Bar of Texas 1924
County Attorney Grimes County 1925 - 1929
County Judge Grimes County 1931 - 1932
Secretary of State of Texas 1933 - 1935
Assistant Attorney General of Texas 1935 - 1937
Chairman, Texas Board For Hospitals
and Special Schools 1957 - 1959
Member, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman, Board of Regents
University of Texas at Austin 1959 - 1967
Delegate-At-Large From Texas, Democratic
National Convention 1960 - 1964
United States Ambassador to Sweden 1967 - 1969
His Family, Friends, And Mankind Were The Beneficiaries Of His
Strenght, Wisdom and Love.

His Wife
Mavis Barnett Heath

Bedias, Grimes County, Texas
Fewbruary 14, 1908

Austin, Travis County, Texas
April 9, 1998

She Was The Best Friend, Lifelong Companion
And Eternal Love

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Full Name: William Womack Heath
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 2 (C2)
Row:D  Number:10
Reason for Eligibility: Secretary of State; Chairman, Texas Board of Hospitals and Special Schools; Member and Chairman, Board of Regents, University of Texas at Austin; United States Ambassador to Sweden 
Birth Date: December 7, 1903 
Died: June 22, 1971 
Burial Date:  
Confederate Home Roster Information:
Birth Place: Texas 

HEATH, WILLIAM WOMACK (1903-1971). William Womack Heath, lawyer, educator, and public administrator, was born in Normangee, Texas, on December 7, 1903, the son of John Al and Runie (Hill) Heath. After graduating from high school he taught school intermittently while attending Lon Morris Junior College, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas law school. He had not yet completed his legal training and was several months short of legal age when he was elected county attorney of Grimes County. After admission to the state bar in the fall of 1924, Heath served two terms as county attorney (1925-29) and then one term as county judge (1931-32). In 1933 he was appointed secretary of state by Governor Miriam A. Ferguson. He was assistant attorney general under Governor James Allred from 1935 to 1937.

After retiring to private law practice in 1937, Heath became one of the most prominent insurance lawyers in the country as a partner in the Austin firm of Davis and Heath. His reputation and connections got him on the boards of directors of several large banks and insurance companies. By 1950 his wealth had enabled him to purchase a ranch in Blanco County near that of his long-time friend Lyndon B. Johnson.

Heath reentered public service in 1952, when Governor M. Price Daniel, Sr., appointed him chairman of the Texas Board of State Hospitals and Special Schools. In 1959 he was named to the board of regents of the University of Texas, which he served as chairman from 1962 to 1966. In this capacity he helped direct the peaceful integration of the university. Heath was also instrumental in persuading President Johnson to leave his official papers to the University of Texas and played a prominent role in establishing the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

On March 22, 1967, Heath accepted Johnson's appointment as ambassador to Sweden. In early 1968, however, he was recalled to the United States in a demonstration of American displeasure with Sweden's strident opposition to the Vietnam War. He retired once again from public service to devote the remainder of his life to ranching and the leadership of a number of charitable foundations. Heath married Mavis Barnett on July 14, 1927, and they had two daughters. He died in Austin on June 22, 1971, and was buried in the State Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Charles Christopher Jackson

"HEATH, WILLIAM WOMACK." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Mon Oct 13 13:18:20 US/Central 2003].


#8789) Served as Secretary of State from 1933-1935.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:22 PM

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