BASS, THOMAS HUTCHESON (1927~) Thomas Hutcheson Bass, State Representative and educator, was born January 11, 1927, in Houston, Texas. He has spent intervals of his life educating young people, representing the citizens of Houston as an elected official, and serving his country.
Following his graduation from St. Thomas High School in 1944, he joined the U.S. Army and served on active duty and in the reserve for a total of thirty-six years, retiring as a Colonel in 1980. Six years after enlistment in 1950, he married Mary Ann King. Together they had ten children and currently have over sixteen grandchildren.
In that same year, Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas in just three years. Tom graduated in the top twenty percent of his class. His teaching experience began in 1952, when he became a teacher for HISD. He taught Social Sciences and was an extra curricular coach in Speech, Drama, Football and Basketball. He furthered his education by obtaining a Masters in Education with a minor in Political Science from the University of Houston in 1954. His post graduate studies prompted his active involvement in public office from 1958-1964.
Starting in 1960, Tom has been awarded the 1st Armored Division Certificate of Achievement, the Sierra Club Environmental Award, and the Common Cause of Texas Public Service Award in Education. Also, in 1960, Tom became Associate Professor of the Dominican College in Houston. From there, Tom has worked as an adjunct professor at UHCL, UHD, Texas Southern University and University of St. Thomas.
Beginning in 1963, Tom ventured into politics by becoming a State Representative of Harris County. He served in the Texas Legislature for ten years and his political carreer spanned 22 years from 1963 to 1985. During his tenure in the House, he was a committee chairman for three sessions and Chairman of the Harris County Delegation for two sessions. He worked hard on legislation for reform laws to expose government wrong doing as an active part of the ?Dirty Thirty? during the Sharpstown scandal. In 1966, Tom became Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of St. Thomas; a position he would hold until 2001, when he became Professor Emeritus of Political Science.
In 1973, Tom served on the Executive Committee Houston Galveston Area Council and served as Chairman in 1978. Also in 1973, Tom served as County Commissioner until 1985, and worked hard for strong financial disclosure and ethics rules for all county officials; a redistricting that would allow the first minority to be elected to the commissioner?s court. In 1983, Tom drafted, lobbied and the established the first 911 District in Harris County and from it's inception has served as Chairman of the Greater Harris County 911 Board.
Because of extensive environmental efforts in 1985, the Tom Bass Regional Park on Clear Creek was named after him. In 1987 to 1992, Tom served on the Board of Directors Visiting Nurses Association. Then, in 1987 and in 1992, Tom authored the Texas portion of Magruders American Government; a text used in the majority of Texas high schools. In the summers of 1987 and 1988, Tom was granted fellowships on Congressional History at Rice University. In 1988, Tom wrote an unpublished study on the Speaker of the Texas House. Also in that same year, Tom served as Harris County Representative to Texas Silver Haired Legislation and Executive Director of the Houston Association of School Administrators.
In 1990, he began volunteer service at Villa de Matel. In that same year, he became a reader and table leader for Educational Testing Services for advanced placement exams in government and politics. From 1993 to 2003, Tom became a Houston review instructor for EXCET which prepares teachers to take the Texas certification test. In the summer of 1994, Tom was a member of an AP workshop in a government Seminar for Texas and Oklahoma teachers. In 1995, 1997, and in 1999, Tom co-authored the new Texas Government textbook.
In 1998, Tom was selected to St. Thomas High School Hall of Honor; an honor that goes to less than one-third of 1% of graduates. Tom has gone on to complete many other goals outside of education and community service. He is a three-time Boston Marathon runner, has completed over 40 marathons, has competed in the Senior Olympics at Regional, State, and National levels. He won medals at all levels. Tom has also received hundreds of age awards in track and road race events. He is still currently Professor Emeritus at the University of St. Thomas, Chairman of the Greater Harris County 911 Board, and volunteer to Villa de Matel. He and his wife, Mary, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2000.
Sources: Biography information courtesy of Mary Ann King Bass.