Frances Farenthold: Texas' Joan of Arc

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Born in 1926, Frances "Sissy" Tarlton Farenthold began her exploration of politics at a young age. In 1942, Farenthold graduated from Hockaday School for Girls. In 1945, she graduated from Vassar College, and in 1949, she graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. Farenthold was a practicing lawyer, participated in the Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission from 1964 to 1969, and directed Nueces County Legal Aid from 1965 to 1967. In 1969, she began her first term in the Texas House of Representatives. During her second term in the House (1971-1972), Farenthold became a leader in the fight ... continued below

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Fields-Hawkins, Stephanie December 2012.

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  • Fields-Hawkins, Stephanie

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Born in 1926, Frances "Sissy" Tarlton Farenthold began her exploration of politics at a young age. In 1942, Farenthold graduated from Hockaday School for Girls. In 1945, she graduated from Vassar College, and in 1949, she graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. Farenthold was a practicing lawyer, participated in the Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission from 1964 to 1969, and directed Nueces County Legal Aid from 1965 to 1967. In 1969, she began her first term in the Texas House of Representatives. During her second term in the House (1971-1972), Farenthold became a leader in the fight against government corruption. In 1972, she ran in the Democratic primary for Texas governor, and forced a close run-off vote with Dolph Briscoe. Soon afterwards in 1972, she was nominated as a Democratic vice-presidential candidate at the Democratic convention, in addition to her nomination as the chairperson of the National Women's Political Caucus. Farenthold ran in the Democratic primary for governor again in 1974, but lost decisively. From 1976 until 1980, she was the first woman president of Wells College, before coming back to Texas and opening a law practice. For the next three decades, Farenthold practiced law, taught at the University of Houston, and furthered her activism for the environment, as well as women's, minority's, gay and lesbian, and immigrant's rights. She currently lives in Houston and continues working towards these goals.

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  • December 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 13, 2013, 2:47 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 3:43 p.m.

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Fields-Hawkins, Stephanie. Frances Farenthold: Texas' Joan of Arc, thesis, December 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177196/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .