Texas, Her Texas is the fascinating story of Frances Goff and her three remarkable careers: in Texas government as legislative aide and State Budget Director; at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; and as Director of the Bluebonnet Girls State Program of the American Legion Auxiliary. Based on Goff’s personal papers and interviews with those who knew her, including former Texas Governor Ann Richards, the book provides inside glimpses of such leaders in state politics as Coke Stevenson, Allan Shivers, and Richards herself. The fast-paced narrative also describes the founding and early years of M. D. Anderson and Goff’s key role as an aide to Dr. R. Lee Clark in building this world-renowned cancer treatment facility.
At the core of the book is the Bluebonnet Girls State Program, an annual citizenship session for young Texas women that Goff directed for four decades. More than twenty thousand high school girls experienced Goff’s charismatic leadership and took to heart her message of public service and involvement. In turn, they became part of Goff’s statewide network. Texas, Her Texas makes a major contribution to a better understanding of how this voluntary women’s group is shaping present-day Texas.
Frances Goff was a people person, and it is the portraits of those whose lives she touched that make this book so readable. From her youthful days in Kenedy to the corridors of the Texas Capitol, Goff knew the movers and shakers of Texas—Barbara Jordan, Lyndon Johnson, George Bush, Jack Cox, and Lloyd Bentsen, to name just a few—and became one herself. Goff’s biography will inspire those who knew her and those who are learning about her for the first time. She was, says Ann Richards, a “grand lionness of a woman,” and Texas, Her Texas is her story.
This is book number six of the Barker Texas History Center Series.