HOUSTON, JR., HORACE BEN (1920~2004) Horace Ben Houston, Jr., World War II pilot, attorney and state representative, was born November 9, 1920, in Dallas, Texas, to Mr. and Mrs. Horace Ben Houston, Sr. Growing up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, he graduated from Sunset High School and North Texas Agricultural College, now the University of Texas at Arlington.
In 1941, Houston, who had become a pilot while in college, volunteered to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but later transferred to the U. S. Army Air Forces. During World War II, he served as a reconnaissance photo pilot in the Pacific Theater, where most of his assignments involved mapping the Japanese war effort. His missions were often dangerous, as many of his plane's armaments had been replaced with cameras. By the end of the War, Houston, who had attained the rank of major, returned to Texas as a decorated veteran; he had received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. He also served as a major in the Air Force Reserve.
After receiving his law degree from Southern Methodist University, Houston began practicing law in Dallas with his father, until March 1950, when he successfully ran for a vacant seat in the Texas House of Representatives. He served from 1951 to 1956, as a Democrat, but labeled himself as a "conservative anti-Truman Southern Democrat." However, after leaving the Legislature at the end of his third term, he was reelected in 1962, as a Republican. Two years later, in 1964, he ran for Lieutenant Governor, but lost the general election to incumbent Preston Smith.
Returning to Dallas, Houston continued to practice law and, in 1971, ran unsuccessfully for the Dallas City Council. By 1993, he moved to Houston to be closer to his daughter and later followed her to Ashland, Kentucky, where he passed away on May 29, 2004. Because of his service to the State of Texas, he was buried among his friends and colleagues in the Texas State Cemetery on June 4, 2004.
Representative Horace Ben Houston, Jr. was survived by his three children: daughter, Laurie Houston-Reliford, and sons, William W. "Bill" Houston and Clay Houston, and five grandchildren.
Information taken from: Simnacher, Joe. "Horace Ben Houston Jr.: World War II pilot, lawyer served Dallas in Legislature." The Dallas Morning News 02 June 2004 : .