Baylor University Poage Library

About Jack Hightower

In Memoriam - Judge Jack E. Hightower

Jack English Hightower was born in Memphis, Texas in 1926. Having spent almost all of his professional life in elected office, Hightower's service in government began even before graduating from college, with a two year period in the Navy from 1944-46. Returning to college after the Navy, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949 and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1951, both from Baylor University.

In 1951 he joined the law firm of Storey, Storey, and Donaghey in Vernon, Texas; and in 1952 successfully ran for election as a Democrat to the Texas House of Representatives, serving one term. From 1955-1961 Hightower served as District Attorney in Vernon. In 1965 he returned to the Texas Legislature as a State Senator, holding office until 1974 and eventually becoming President Pro-tempore of the Texas Senate.

In 1974 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 13th Congressional District of Texas, serving until he was defeated in 1984 by Beau Boulter. While in the House of Representatives he served on the Agriculture Committee, Appropriations Committee, Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Select Committee on Hunger. From 1985-87 Hightower served as Assistant Attorney General of Texas, and in 1988 he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court.

In addition to his career in elected offices, Hightower has been very active in church, fraternal, and civic organizations. A lifelong Baptist, he has held many significant positions in Baptist organizations, including being a trustee of Baylor University. He has also been a trustee of Midwestern University, Wichita Falls, and served in several leadership positions in the Masons.

Hightower passed away on August 3, 2013 in Austin, Texas.The burial took place at Texas State Cemetery on August 7, 2013.The Memorial Service was held at First Baptist Church on August 10, 2013.


General article about Judge Hightower | PDF

Jack Hightower, Chronology | PDF

50+ Years of Public Service | PDF

80th Birthday logo | PDF

Birthday windmill | PDF

Scripture Panel, Judge Hightower | PDF

Hightower Bookvault


Distinguished Alumnus: Jack Hightower. The Baylor Line, Feb 1978 | PDF

"Touching History," Texas Heritage, Winter 2003 | PDF

Achievements of a Lifetime by Jessica Langdon | PDF

Hightower nominated by Clinton for NCLIS | PDF

Article in The Vernon Daily, August 7, 2013