52 Facts About Ann Richards


Dorothy Ann Richards was an American politician who served as the 45th governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995.


Ann Richards won election to the Travis County Commissioners' Court in 1976, and took office as Texas State Treasurer in 1983.


Ann Richards delivered a nominating speech for Walter Mondale at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, and the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention.


Ann Richards won the 1990 Texas gubernatorial election, defeating Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox in a Democratic primary run-off election and businessman Clayton Williams in the general election.


Ann Richards was defeated in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election by George W Bush.


Ann Richards remained active in public life until her death in 2006.


Ann Richards was born in Lakeview, in McLennan County, Texas, the only child of Robert Cecil Willis and Mildred Iona Warren.


Ann Richards grew up in Waco, participated in Girls State, and graduated from Waco High School in 1950.


Ann Richards attended Baylor University on a debate team scholarship, and earned a bachelor's degree.


David and Ann Richards had four children: Cecile, Daniel, Clarke, and Ellen.


Ann Richards taught social studies and history at Fulmore Junior High School in Austin from 1955 to 1956.


Ann Richards campaigned for Texas liberals and progressives, such as Henry B Gonzalez, Ralph Yarborough, and future US District Judge Sarah T Hughes.


Ann Richards supported ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution, presenting the amendment to the delegates of the National Women's Conference, held in Houston in 1978, but the amendment was never ratified by enough states to become part of the Constitution.


In 1976, Ann Richards ran against and defeated a three-term incumbent on the four-member Travis County Commissioners' Court; she took 81.4 percent of the vote against Libertarian opponent Laurel Freeman to win re-election in 1980.


Ann Richards' drinking became more pronounced, and she sought and completed treatment for alcoholism in 1980.


Ann Richards was a popular and proactive treasurer who worked to maximize the return of Texas state investments.


Ann Richards said that when she took office, the Treasury Department was run something like a 1930s country bank, with deposits that didn't earn interest.


Ann Richards was born with a silver foot in his mouth", "Two women in 160 years is about par for the course.


Ann Richards just did it backwards and in high heels", and "When we pay billions for planes that won't fly, billions for tanks that won't fire, and billions for systems that won't work, that old dog won't hunt.


Ann Richards painted herself as a sensible progressive, and won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against Attorney General Jim Mattox of Dallas and former Governor Mark White of Houston.


Mattox ran a particularly abrasive campaign against Ann Richards, accusing her of having had drug problems beyond alcoholism.


Ann Richards backed proposals to reduce the sale of semi-automatic firearms and "cop-killer" bullets in the state.


Ann Richards sought to decentralize control over education policy to districts and individual campuses; she instituted "site-based management" to this end.


In 1990, Ann Richards had campaigned in Houston to repeal the law.


In 1994, Richards ran for re-election against Republican George W Bush.


Ann Richards was defeated in the 1994 Republican landslide that unseated New York Governor Mario Cuomo and brought a Republican majority to the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.


From 1995 to 2001, Ann Richards was a senior advisor with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, a Washington, DC-based international law firm.


Ann Richards demonstrated interest in social causes such as equality, abortion, and women's rights.


Ann Richards was a tireless campaigner for Democratic candidates throughout the United States.


Ann Richards later stumped for Democratic nominee John Kerry, highlighting the issues of health care and women's rights.


Ann Richards said that she was "not interested" in a political comeback.


Ann Richards taught social studies and history at Fulmore Junior High School in Austin.


Ann Richards served at Brandeis University as the Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Politics from 1997 to 1998.


Ann Richards changed her diet and lifestyle, and then her bone density stabilized.


Ann Richards spoke frequently about this experience, teaching or advocating a healthier lifestyle for women at risk of the disease.


Ann Richards was involved with the Texas Film Hall of Fame from the beginning.


Ann Richards was emcee every subsequent year but had to cancel at the last minute in 2006 because of her diagnosis with cancer.


Ann Richards gave more focus to film as a business than had been done before.


Ann Richards was interviewed in the 1996 Ken Burns documentary series The West about the history of Texas and the United States in the 1800s.


Ann Richards was active in the Austin City Limits Festivals, and the SXSW festival: the interactive, music, and film festival, held each year in Austin.


In March 2006, Ann Richards disclosed that she had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and received treatment at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.


Alcohol and tobacco exposure are major risk factors for certain types of esophageal cancer; by her own admission, Ann Richards said that she "smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish" in her younger years.


Ann Richards died of cancer at her home in Austin on September 13,2006, at the age of 73.


Ann Richards's remains are interred at Texas State Cemetery in Austin.


Ann Richards inaugurated a school in the year 1999 named Ann Richards Middle School in Palmview, Texas.


In 2001, Ann Richards guest starred as herself in a fifth-season episode of the Texas-based animated TV series King of the Hill.


Ann Richards is seen in the closing credits of King of the Hill Season 1 Episode 4, playing tether ball with Willie Nelson's roadie.


Ann Richards was a topic in the film Bush's Brain, in a long segment regarding her defeat in the 1994 election for Texas governor.


The film presents the case that the defeat of Ann Richards involved a whisper campaign that the governor was a lesbian because she had allegedly hired many gays and lesbians to work on her re-election campaign.


Ann Richards ran as a liberal in conservative Texas, so I had to write a play about her four incredible years in Austin.


Ann Richards was ahead of Obama by about 10 years as an 'inclusive' leader.


In 2012 a documentary about her political life, Ann Richards' Texas, was released.