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Richards, Ann Willis (1933–)

Richards, Ann Willis (1933–)

American politician. Name variations: Ann Willis; Ann Richards. Born Dorothy Ann Willis in Lakeview, Texas, Sept 1, 1933; dau. of Robert Cecil Willis (pharmaceutical salesman) and Iona (Warren) Willis (dressmaker); Baylor University, BA, 1954; University of Texas, Austin, teaching certificate, 1955; m. David Read Richards (lawyer), 1953 (div. 1984); children: Cecile, Dan, Clark, and Ellen.

Managed the campaign of Wilhelmina Delco, who became the 1st black woman ever elected to Texas House of Representatives (1974); served as county commissioner, Travis County, Texas (1976–82); served as state treasurer of Texas (1982–90), the 1st woman in 50 years to hold state office in Texas; gave keynote speech at Democratic National Convention (1988); as a famously blunt-spoken politician, served as governor of Texas (1990–94), only the 2nd woman governor in the state's history; advanced women's causes and women in political life.

See also Mike Shropshire and Frank Schaefer, The Thorny Rose of Texas: An Intimate Portrait of Governor Ann Richards (Birch Lane, 1994); and Women in World History.

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