H.R. No. 557

WHEREAS, The State of Texas lost one of its towering figures with the passing of George Eastland Christian, Jr., of Austin, on November 27, 2002, at the age of 75; and WHEREAS, A former presidential press secretary and confidant and for over four decades a trusted advisor to state political leaders, Mr. Christian was born in Austin on January 1, 1927; after graduating from Austin High School in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and saw duty in the Pacific theater and in Japan during the occupation; and WHEREAS, Upon his discharge from the military, Mr. Christian returned to Austin and earned a journalism degree from The University of Texas (UT); he subsequently spent seven years covering Texas state government for the International News Service; and WHEREAS, Noted for his ability and astute political judgment, he served as press secretary for Governors Price Daniel and John Connally before moving to Washington, D.C., to handle the same assignment for President Lyndon B. Johnson; holding the post of presidential press secretary from 1966 to 1969, during a difficult time in the nation's life, he won the respect of the White House press corps for his unshakable poise and civility; and WHEREAS, At the close of President Johnson's term of office, Mr. Christian returned to Austin and established a public relations, consulting, and lobbying firm, which he continued to operate until his passing; and WHEREAS, In addition to his professional work, he gave untold hours as vice chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, member and chairman of the Texas Historical Commission (THC), member of the Texas State Cemetery Committee, and member of the boards of the Headliners Foundation, McDonald Observatory, Texas A&M College of Medicine, and Scott and White Memorial Hospital; and WHEREAS, His many accolades included selection as a Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin and as an Outstanding Alumnus of the UT College of Communication; he also received the Texas Award for Historical Preservation from the THC and the Harvey Penick Award from Caritas of Austin; in 1982, a centennial professorship in journalism was established in his name at UT Austin; and WHEREAS, Across the political spectrum, George Christian was deeply respected for his unfailing graciousness and kindness, as well as for his seasoned judgment and sage advice; an unassuming, friendly man with a booming laugh, he could enter the political fray with gusto and uncommon skill, and yet never allow rancor to taint the joust; eulogized as a "titan" on the Texas landscape, he embodied the best virtues of the politically engaged citizen, and he brought enormous honor to the Lone Star State; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 78th Texas Legislature pay special tribute to the life of George Eastland Christian, Jr., and extend sincere sympathy to the members of his family: to his wife of 43 years, Jo Anne Christian; to his children and grandchildren; and to his other relatives and many friends; and, be it further RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for the members of his family and that when the Texas House of Representatives adjourns this day, it do so in memory of George Eastland Christian, Jr. Delisi ______________________________ Speaker of the House I certify that H.R. No. 557 was unanimously adopted by a rising vote of the House on April 8, 2003. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House