JOHNSON, ROBERT ELLIS (1929-1995) Robert Ellis "Bob" Johnson, was a legend in Texas Government. As one of the state's most respected public servants, his multi-faceted, thirty-year career as a legislator, state agency head, and parliamentarian of both the House and Senate, he earned a reputation among his peers as a voice of reason and moderation.
Born in Dallas, Texas, on January 15, 1929, to Moses Gorden Johnson and Maude Belle Brown, Bob Johnson held a Bachelor of Business Administration and a law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 1959, he married Judith Cissna Scott.
First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1956, Bob Johnson served as a legislator until 1963, when he resigned to accept a new challenge as the executive director of the Texas Legislative Council - the agency that assists lawmakers and their committees with bill drafting and research. For the next 17 years, he guided the council's development into a dynamic arm of state government. Johnson also accepted the additional responsibility of serving as House Parliamentarian, where he mastered House rules and procedure.
After leaving the Legislative Council in 1980, Johnson pursued a career as an administrative law practitioner and lobbyist, forming the Austin law firm of Johnson and Johnson. However, ten years later, he returned to public service again as Parliamentarian of the Texas Senate at the call of his longtime friend and confidant, newly elected Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock.
Noted for his impressive and intricate knowledge of state government and loved for his generous and affable nature, Johnson served seven governors, four lieutenant governors, and eight speakers in the course of his career. On his death in 1995, major Texas newspapers eulogized him as a public servant that truly served. In a public statement, Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock said, "no one ever served his state with more devotion, dedication and distinction than Bob Johnson. When Texas called, he was there."
Robert Ellis "Bob" Johnson died on March 26, 1995, in Temple, Texas, and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery five days later. He was survived by his wife Judith Johnson, three sons and a daughter; Robert E. Johnson, Jr., Karen Johnson Pounds, Gordon Robert Johnson, and Stanley Scott Johnson. Another daughter, Anne Marie Johnson, died in infancy and was reinterred to the Texas State Cemetery on May 2, 1995.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Biography courtesy of The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Bob Bullock, President of the Senate, April 4, 1996.