YARBOROUGH, Ralph Webster, (1903 - 1996)

Senate Years of Service: 1957-1971
Party: Democrat

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

YARBOROUGH, Ralph Webster, a Senator from Texas; born in Chandler, Henderson County, Tex., June 8, 1903; attended the public schools of Chandler and Tyler, Tex.; attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1919 and 1920 and the Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, Tex., in 1921; taught school for three years in Delta and Martin Springs, Henderson County, Tex.; spent one year working and studying foreign trade and international relations in Europe, mostly in Germany as assistant secretary for the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin; served in the Thirty-sixth Division, Texas National Guard, from private to staff sergeant 1923-1926; graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1927; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in El Paso, Tex.; assistant attorney general of Texas 1931-1934; member, board of directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority 1935; unsuccessful candidate for State attorney general in 1938; lectured on land law at University of Texas Law School in 1935; elected and served as district judge of the Fifty-third Judicial district, Austin, Tex., 1936-1941, and for three years was presiding judge for the third administrative judicial district; during the Second World War served in Army ground forces in Europe and Japan from 1943 until discharged as a lieutenant colonel in 1946; author; member of Texas Board of Law Examiners 1947-1951; unsuccessful candidate for the gubernatorial nomination in 1952, 1954, and 1956; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in a special election on April 2, 1957, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Price Daniel for the term ending January 3, 1959; reelected in 1958 and 1964 and served from April 29, 1957, to January 3, 1971; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1970 and for nomination in 1972; chairman, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Ninety-first Congress); member, Interparliamentary Union Group 1961-1970; member, board of directors, Gallaudet College 1969-1971; member, constitutional revision commission of Texas 1973-1974; member, State library and archives commission of Texas 1983-1987; practiced law in Austin, Tex., was a resident of Austin, Tex., until his death on January 27, 1996; interment in Texas State Cemetery, Austin.


Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives; Phillips, William G. Yarborough of Texas. Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books, 1969; Cox, Patrick. Ralph W. Yarborough: The People’s Senator. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001; forward by Edward M. Kennedy.