DOUGLAS, LEON BURR (1916~1986) Leon Burr Douglas, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, was born in Chillicothe, Texas on February 29, 1916, to Aaron Douglas and Jesse Ford and was raised on his family's farm. He entered the University of Texas in 1935, earning a B.A. degree, and later attended the University of Texas Law School, receiving his L.L.B. in 1941.
After briefly practicing law in Rosenberg, Texas with the late Sidney Brown, he joined the Navy, was commissioned a lieutenant, and served in the Pacific Theater as officer in charge of an L.C.T. On July 14, 1949, he and Marybelle were married.
He began his law practice after World War II in Vernon, with the firm of Warlick, Bunnenberg and Douglas. In 1949, he was appointed City Judge of Vernon, serving through 1950. During the latter part of that year he was elected to the office of District Attorney of the 46th District (Foard, Hardeman and Wilbarger counties) and served for four years. From 1954 to 1955 he was also a member of the firm of Douglas and Hightower.
He was appointed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1955, as the State's Attorney before that court, a position in which he served through 1968. As State's Attorney he represented the State of Texas in thousands of criminal cases which had been appealed to the court, and also represented the state in cases in the federal courts, including the United State Supreme Court.
He was elected to the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1969 and served as judge for two six year terms. From 1981 through 1982, Judge Douglas was a specials assistant to then Attorney General Mark White, and from 1983 to 1986 a Special Assistant to Governor White in the Criminal Justice Division.
He was an active member of University United Methodist Church and the Hickman Men's Fellowship Class. Judge Douglas was a visiting lecturer in criminal procedure at St. Mary's University Law School and a member of the faculty of the Texas College for the Judiciary. In 1974, he was presented the 17th Annual Rosewood Gavel Award by St. Mary's University Law School as "an outstanding jurist of the State or Nation in recognition of his contribution to the democratic process". He was a Mason and an Honorary Life Member of the Texas District and County Attorney's Association. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
Judge Douglas was married to the former Marybelle Grace and had two children, a daughter, Nancy, and a son, David.
Information taken from obituary, Austin American-Statesman.