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Ted Z. Robertson (1921-2017)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1982-1989

Ted Z. Robertson was born in San Antonio on September 28, 1921. His ancestors had been among the earliest white settlers in Texas; his great-great grandfather, Sterling C. Robertson, founded Robertson's Colony in the Brazos River valley in the 1830s. Robertson grew up in San Antonio and attended public schools there. After completing his undergraduate degree at Texas A & I University in Kingsville, he served forty-six months in the U.S. Coast Guard, assigned to the Southern Fleet in the South Pacific during World War II. Although he had initially planned to become a teacher, while serving in the military Robertson decided he wanted to become a lawyer. Following the war he attended law school at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, graduating in 1949.

Following law school Robertson practiced law in San Antonio and Dallas until 1960, when he became chief of the civil department in the Dallas County district attorney's office. In 1965 he was appointed judge of the newly created Probate Court No. 2 in Dallas County. He was then elected to a four-year term in that position. In 1969 Gov. Preston Smith appointed Robertson judge of the newly created Juvenile Court No. 2 of Dallas County, a post he held until 1975. That year, Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed Robertson judge of the Ninety-fifth Judicial District Court of Dallas County; he was elected to a four-year term for the position the following year. In 1976 Gov. Briscoe appointed Robertson to the Court of Civil Appeals, Fifth Supreme Judicial District of Texas in Dallas. He also served as a guest lecturer at Southern Methodist University, teaching a course on juvenile law. He received the distinguished law alumni award from St. Mary's University in 1981.

Robertson was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. William P. Clements in 1982, and took his place on the bench in December of that year to fill the unexpired term of Jack Pope, who resigned to assume the office of chief justice. He was then elected to the position, and served until 1989. In 1988 he ran an unsuccessful campaign against Thomas R. Phillips for the position of chief justice.


Justice Ted Z. Robertson, Texas Bar Journal 434, April 1985.

Kelley Jones. Justice Ted Z. Robertson of the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Bar Journal 694-695, June 1985.

Ted Z. Robertson, Biographical sketch prepared by Ted Robertson Campaign, 1982. Provided by Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.