ALLRED, WILLIAM DAVID (1933~1996) William David Allred, son of Texas Governor James V. Allred and Joe Betsy Miller, was born in Austin, Texas, on November 27, 1933. After attending public schools in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, Allred graduated from Texas Christian University with a BA in Journalism and English and Columbia University with an MS in Journalism.
After college, Allred worked for the Wichita Falls Times and Record-News, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The San Antonio Light News, and the Houston Post. (Right out of Columbia University, he was hired to work in a two-man Washington Bureau of the Houston Post, headed by Jim Mathis and later Felton West. West covered Allred's work in his post as Austin correspondent for the Houston Post.) Allred also worked for The Associated Press Wire Services in Alabama at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, covering and interviewing Martin Luther King, Jr., Minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. (Once he had a cross burned on his desk by a racist in the newsroom.) He did some broadcast reporting and free-lance work, as well as ghost writing articles and books. He also wrote copy for local television shows.
In the United States Army at Ft. Eustis and Ft. Story, Allred was the Public Information Officer, serving in the rank of Lieutenant from his ROTC work at TCU. His active duty with the Army lasted for two years. Allred served 21 years in the Army Reserves and retired with the rank of Major. He was a graduate of the Transportation Officer's Basic Course, the Company Officer's Course in Civil Affairs and Military Government, and the United States Army Command and General Staff School. He served at various times as public relations officer, legal advocate, and instructor.
Once discharged from the Army, Allred handled the press in Austin for Dolph Briscoe's first run for governor. He handled PR for a number of civic and religious groups throughout his life. Allred served on the PR Staff of U. S. Senator Ralph Webster Yarborough in 1959, in Washington and also briefly for Representative Ray Roberts, who won Sam Rayburn's Congressional seat. He worked as a committee staff member to a subcommittee chaired by Congressman Jack Brooks of Beaumont. When President Kennedy was killed in 1963, Allred wanted to come "home" and "do" what he could for his country "by throwing his hat in the ring for public office."
In 1965, Allred was elected to represent Wichita County, the home district of his father and mother. He established himself as an outspoken advocate of ethics reform while serving on the House Appropriations Committee, the Health and Welfare Commission, the Committee on Business and Industry, and the Committee on Social Services. He was a member of the famous "Dirty 30" ethics minority in the 1971 legislative session. Allred and 29 others gained the tag by voting against tabling a motion to investigate House Speaker Gus Mutscher for allegations growing out of the Sharpstown stock fraud and banking scandal.
Allred, who slept on the couch in his office during some of his legislative sessions to save on rent, was also a part-time minister. He preached at several churches around Central Texas. "The ministry," he said in a 1977 interview, "was just something I was interested in. I'm oriented toward service." Besides preaching, Allred also taught and reported for several papers. In 1980, he was narrowly defeated for re-election in the Democratic primary by John Gavin, former mayor of Wichita Falls.
After leaving the House, Allred, who had become a licensed attorney in 1978, spent two years as an Assistant Attorney General under Jim Mattox. After leaving State service, he taught journalism at several universities, including the University of Texas at Austin, Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; and Radford University in Radford, Virginia.
While living in Virginia, Allred passed away on September 8, 1996 and was buried in Olive Branch Cemetery in Norge. However, his love of Texas led his family and friends to have his body moved to the Texas State Cemetery. On July 25, 2000, Representative Allred was finally laid to rest in his beloved State of Texas.
Information taken from Austin American-Statesman Obituary, a Joint Resolution signed by Legislature on June 18, 1996, and a biography from his reinterment program.