O'DANIEL, Wilbert Lee (Pappy), (1890 - 1969)

Senate Years of Service: 1941-1949
Party: Democrat

MLK Library

O'DANIEL, Wilbert Lee (Pappy), a Senator from Texas; born in Malta, Morgan County, Ohio, March 11, 1890; reared on a cattle ranch near Arlington, Kans.; attended the public schools and business college in Hutchinson, Kans.; engaged in the flour milling and merchandising business, Fort Worth, Tex., 1909-1938; radio personality; elected Governor of Texas in 1938, reelected in 1940, and served until August 3, 1941, when he resigned, having been elected to the Senate; elected on June 28, 1941, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Morris Sheppard; reelected in 1942 and served from August 4, 1941, until January 3, 1949; was not a candidate for renomination in 1948; unsuccessful candidate for the gubernatorial nomination in 1956; owned and operated several life insurance companies in Texas; died in Dallas, Tex., May 11, 1969; interment in Hillcrest Memorial Park.


Dictionary of American Biography; American National Biography; Douglas, Claude Leroy, and Francis Miller. The Life Story of W. Lee O’Daniel. Dallas: Regional Press, 1938; Welch, June Rayfield. ”W. Lee O’Daniel Was a Radio Personality.” In The Texas Senator, pp. 124-29. Dallas: G.L.A. Press, 1978.