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Marion Price Daniel, Sr. (1910-1988)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1971-1978

Marion Price Daniel was born October 10, 1910 in Dayton, Texas. He attended public schools in Liberty and Fort Worth. He worked as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1926 to 1927 and for the Waco News Tribune from 1929 to 1931, and earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor University in 1931. Daniel earned a law degree from Baylor University in 1932 and established a law practice in Liberty, Texas. He married Jean Houston Baldwin, a great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston, and the couple had three children.

After defending two defendants in a high-profile Liberty County murder case, Daniel was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1939. There he became a leader of the "Immortal 56," a group of legislators opposed to a state sales tax, and was unanimously elected Speaker of the Texas House.

In 1943 Daniel enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army, attended officer training school, served in the Pacific and Japan during the Second World War, and earned the rank of captain. Upon his discharge from the military at the end of the war he was elected Texas attorney general.

In his six-year tenure as attorney general, Daniel disposed of more than 5,000 lawsuits, served on twenty-five state boards and agencies, and composed more than 2,000 bills for the Texas legislature. He launched several well-known crusades, including the defense of The University of Texas Law School in its refusal to admit Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American; the disbandment of a majority of the state's organized gambling operations; and the defense of Texas ownership of its tidelands against federal encroachment.

Daniel was elected to the United States Senate in 1952. There he led a national narcotics probe that eventually resulted in the most stringent narcotics regulation in United States history, and he nearly succeeded in the passage of legislation designed to reform the electoral college.

Daniel returned to Texas to run for governor, and following his nomination in 1956, resigned from the Senate. He was elected governor and reelected in 1958 and 1960. He lost a reelection bid in 1962 and returned to practicing law in Liberty and Austin. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him head of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Washington, a post that gave him a position on the National Security Council. He also served as the president's liaison to state governors.

Daniel was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in January 1971 to fill a vacancy created when Clyde E. Smith retired. Daniel was elected to the position in 1972 and served until retiring at the end of 1978, during his second term on the bench. His contributions were greatest in cases dealing with groundwater, mineral, oil, and gas laws.

Following his retirement from the court he served as legal council for the Alabama Coushatta Indians, providing his services pro bono. Daniel died in Liberty on August 25, 1988 at the age of seventy-seven, and was buried on his family ranch there.


Daniel, Marion Price, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (accessed October 14, 2006).

Daniel Murph. Daniel, Marion Price, Sr., Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).

Memorial Service for the Honorable Price Daniel. The Supreme Court of Texas, May 22, 1989.

Extended bibliography

Green, James Ray. The Role of Governor Price Daniel as a Legislative Leader (Master's thesis, North Texas State University, 1967).

Richardson, Thomas Clarence. East Texas, Its History and Its Makers 56 (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1940).

Stout, Doyle E. An Analysis of the Daniel-Shivers Controversy and Resultant Policies (Master's thesis, Sul Ross State College, 1957).

Watson, Bill. The Public Life of Price Daniel (Master's thesis, Texas A&M University, 1958).

Greenhill, Joe R. Tribute to Price Daniel, 31(1) Baylor Law Review 3 (Winter, 1979).

Healy, Paul F. The Case of the Bumptious Young Texan, Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 2, 1954, at 30.

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 55, page 494
Volume 59, page 508, 512
Volume 62, page 287
Volume 63, page 318, 477, 603
Volume 64, page 139, 254, 260
Volume 65, page 87, 113, 263, 265, 266, 444, 452, 575, 576
Volume 66, page 137, 146, 149, 159, 481, 592
Volume 67, page 440
Volume 68, page 296
Volume 70, page 149
Volume 71, page 289, 290
Volume 73, page 575
Volume 77, page 127, 283, 501, 504
Volume 78, page 203, 453
Volume 81, page 100
Volume 82, page 114, 203, 435

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 10, page 313, 322, 412
Volume 13, page 331
Volume 14, page 11, 423
Volume 16, page 9, 369, 543
Volume 17, page 412
Volume 18, page 261, 467
Volume 19, page 759
Volume 20, page 416
Volume 21, page 481
Volume 28, page 616
Volume 30, page 840
Volume 34, page 111
Volume 37, page 35

Attorrney General's Office - Texas Protector, Texas Public Employee 4 (July 1951).

Sam Houston's Kin to Live in Capitol, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 13, 1943.

Hornaday, Walter C. Senators Tackle a Vicious Trade, Dallas Morning News, June 12, 1955.

Morehead, Richard M. Daniel Defers Political Talk, Dallas Morning News, July 2, 1955.

Morehead, Richard M. Daniel Keeps Eye on Governor Race, Dallas Morning News, July 6, 1955.

Duckworth, Allen. Price Daniel Causes Some Jitters, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 23, 1955.

Jamieson, Edward. Unique Role Seen for Daniel, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 26, 1952.

Morehead, Richard M. Price Daniel Seen as Senate Power, Dallas Morning News, Nov. 6, 1952.

Daniel Winds up State Office, Prepares to Become Senator, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 30, 1952.

Hornaday, Walter C. Daniel Opposition Fails to Develop, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 3, 1953.

Hornaday, Walter C. Daniel Expected to Tip Hand on Plans During Austin Speech, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 18, 1956.

Duncan, Dawson. Up to People, Daniel says of Candidacy, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 22, 1956.

Duckworth, Allen. Available as Reform Candidate, Dallas Morning News, Mar. 13, 1956.

Duckworth, Allen. Sen. Daniel to Enter Race for Governor, Dallas Morning News, Mar. 24, 1956.

Hornaday, Walter C. Daniel's Friends Believe He's Unhurt by Battle, Dallas Morning News, May 10, 1956.

Duckworth, Allen. Daniel to Take Oath as Governor of Texas, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 15, 1957.

Duckworth, Allen. Price Daniel: A Trying First Year, Dallas Morning News, Nov. 17, 1957.

Duckworth, Allen. Gov. Price Daniel - A Political Star Is Reborn, Dallas Morning News, Feb. 1, 1959.

Shanks, Dave. Texas' Innovatin' Governor, Austin American-Statesman, Mar. 15, 1959.

Duckworth, Allen. Daniel Mentioned for Judicial Race, Dallas Morning News, Nov. 11, 1959.

Duncan, Dawson. Court Post Rumor Scotched by Daniel, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 8, 1959.

Duckworth, Allen. Daniel's Just About Average, Dallas Morning News, Apr. 10, 1961.

Duckworth, Allen. As Student, Daniel Outlined His Future, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 9, 1962.

Moore, Walter B. Governors of Texas - Price Daniel, Dallas Morning News, Aug. 1, 1963.

Duckworth, Allen. His Shingle Still Reads 'Price Daniel, Lawyer', Dallas Morning News, Mar. 29, 1964.

Mousner, Jim. Price Daniel Doesn't Miss Politics, Houston Post, July 19, 1964.

Banks, Jimmy. Price Daniel Considers Supreme Court Race, Dallas Morning News, May 7,1967.

Castlebury, Glen. Nepotism Law No Bar to Daniel, Dallas Times-Herald, Nov. 25, 1970.

Byers, Bo. Daniel Eligible for High Court Position - Martin, Houston Chronicle, Dec. 3, 1970.

Castlebury, Glen. Ex-Gov. Daniel Named to Court, Austin American-Statesman, Dec. 13,1970.

Byers, Bo. Ex-Gov. Daniel Put on State High Court, Austin American-Statesman, Dec. 13,1970.

Daniel Named to High Court, Houston Post, Dec. 13, 1970.

Rosenfield, Paul. Price Daniel: Life and the Pursuit of Happiness in Liberty, Dallas Times Herald (Sunday supplement), Sept. 26, 1976, at 6.

Ford, Jon. Daniel to Retire from Bench, Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 13, 1978.

Byers, Bo. Daniel Sr. to Retire from Supreme Court, Houston Chronicle, Jan. 13, 1978.

Daniel Gives up Court Post, Houston Post, Jan. 3, 1979.

Kuempel, George. Reception Honors State 'Treasure', Dallas Morning News, June 7, 1979.

Barta, Carolyn. Price Daniel's Triple Crown, Dallas Morning News, June 10, 1979.

Brock, Lynne. Price Daniel Still on Run Despite His 'Retirement', Houston Chronicle, June 17, 1979.

Inaugurations of Texas Governors Papers. Archives Division, Texas State Library (Austin, Texas).