February 29, 2004 by

Waggoner Carr


Categories: Law, Military, Politicians, Writers/Editors

Waggoner Carr, a former Texas attorney general and state representative, died on Feb. 25 from cancer. He was 85.
Carr graduated from Texas Technological College and was studying for a law degree at the University of Texas Law School when World War II began. He served for three years as an Army Air Corps pilot then returned home to complete his law degree and open a private firm with his brother, Warlick.
Over the next two decades, Carr dedicated his life to public service. He spent two years as the Lubbock assistant district attorney, three years as a Lubbock County attorney and a decade as a state representative. From 1957 to 1961, he was the speaker of the House.
Carr was elected the attorney general of Texas in 1963. On the morning of Nov. 22, he ate breakfast with President John F. Kennedy before flying to the Panhandle for a speaking engagement. While he was en route, President Kennedy was shot and killed. Carr later testified before the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination.
After two unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and governor’s office, Carr returned to private practice. In 1971, he was tried on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal, but was eventually acquitted. The author of the 1977 memoir, “Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty,” he was writing books on Jesse James and a history of Texas attorneys general when he died.

2 Responses to Waggoner Carr

  1. Marie Istre

    I met Attorney General Waggnor Carr and hosted a dinner for him and his attendes at my home in Hitchcock, Texas.
    His visit was to lend his support in passing Proposition 13 in Galveston County. This was in the late 70’s and unfortunately the proposition never made it.
    We were very appreciative of Mr. Carr taking an interest in our local unjust taxing practice and I believe he was interested in a state wide tax proposition, styled after the California Prop. 13.

  2. Kenn Knopp

    First met Waggoner Carr in Llano at a history forum and found him to be deeply interested in social justice. His interested in the “real” Jesse James intrigued me and I wonder if his heirs have published his findings or have presented his papers to his alma mater, the Southwest History Collection at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. The second time I met him I was trying to arrange a special appearance at Texas Tech University at Fredericksburg…in hopes that his papers might end up here. Then he died.

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