William P. Hobby

William Pettus Hobby
27th Governor of Texas
In office
August 25, 1917  January 18, 1921
Lieutenant Vacant
Willard Arnold Johnson
Preceded by James E. Ferguson
Succeeded by Pat Morris Neff
24th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
In office
January 19, 1915  August 25, 1917
Governor James E. Ferguson
Preceded by William Harding Mayes
Succeeded by Willard Arnold Johnson
Personal details
Born (1878-03-26)March 26, 1878
Moscow, Texas, U.S.
Died June 7, 1964(1964-06-07) (aged 86)
Houston, Texas, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Willie Cooper Hobby (1915-1929) her death
Oveta Culp Hobby

William Pettus Hobby (March 26, 1878 June 7, 1964) was the publisher of the Houston Post and the 27th Governor of the U.S. state of Texas from 1917 to 1921.


Born in Moscow, Texas, Hobby became a circulation clerk for the Post in 1895 and was promoted to business writer in August 1901. In 1907 he left the Post to become manager and part owner of the Beaumont Enterprise, and he acquired the entire paper shortly thereafter.

Hobby was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1914 and after James Edward Ferguson was removed from office in 1917, he became the youngest governor in the history of the state up to that point. Hobby soundly defeated Ferguson in the 1918 Democratic primary and won the governorship in his own right. He returned to the Enterprise after leaving office and was asked in 1924 to take over as the president of the Houston Post.

Campaign card for William Pettus Hobby

In 1931, he married Oveta Culp, who would later become the first Secretary of the since reorganized Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In August 1955, Hobby became chairman of the board of the Houston Post Company, which also included the radio station, KPRC, and the television station, KPRC-TV, with Mrs. Hobby as president and editor.

Hobby served as a member on the Board of Directors of Texas Technological College.[1]As governor, he appointed the Wichita Falls railroad and oil industrialist Joseph A. Kemp to the University of Texas Board of Regents, a position which Kemp held from 1917 to 1921.[2]


His son William P. Hobby Jr. also served as lieutenant governor of Texas from 1973 to 1991. His daughter, Jessica, was married to Henry E. Catto Jr., the former US Ambassador to Great Britain. His grandson, Paul Hobby, narrowly lost the election for comptroller of Texas in the 1998 general election to the Republican Carole Keeton Strayhorn.



  1. Andrews, Ruth Horn (1956). The First Thirty Years: a History of Texas Technological College. Lubbock, Texas: The Texas Tech Press. p. 353.
  2. "Brian Hart, "Joseph Alexander Kemp"". Texas State Historical Association online. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  3. Leatherwood, Art. "William P. Hobby Airport". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
William Harding Mayes
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
January 19, 1915–August 25, 1917
Succeeded by
Willard Arnold Johnson
Preceded by
James E. Ferguson
Governor of Texas
August 25, 1917–January 18, 1921
Succeeded by
Pat Morris Neff
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