Title: Oral History Interview with Maury Maverick, October 27, 1975. Interview A-0323.
Interviewer: Davidson, Chandler
Interviewee: Maverick, Maury
Abstract: Maury Maverick Jr. was the son of Texas politician Maury Maverick Sr. Born in 1921, Maverick grew up in Texas but spent considerable time in Washington, D.C., during his father's tenure in Congress. Maverick argues that his experiences with his father's political colleagues during his adolescence were particularly influential in the formation of his own political views. After serving as a Marine in World War II, Maverick earned his law degree. Then, following in his father's footsteps, Maverick was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1950. Serving for six years during the height of the McCarthy era, Maverick refused to follow the political status quo. Working in tandem with other Texas liberals and radicals, Maverick was a core member of the "Gashouse Gang" in the state legislature. Named for their effort to place a tax on natural gas, the Gashouse Gang worked to oppose anti-communist legislation during the 1950s. Aside from his tenure in the state legislature, Maverick briefly pursued politics at the national level, campaigning for Lyndon B. Johnson's vacated seat in the United States Senate following the latter's election to the vice presidency. Although he continued to involve himself in politics, serving intermittently as a state committeeman for the Democratic Party, Maverick primarily focused on practicing law throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Maverick describes in detail his legal advocacy for Vietnam draft resisters. Throughout the interview, Maverick offers his thoughts on various Texan politicians, including D. B. Hardeman, Sam Rayburn, Henry B. Gonzalez, and Bob Eckhardt. He also speaks at length about the impact of various constituencies in Texas on the evolution of liberal politics, focusing primarily on Chicano voters and the labor movement. Maverick's lively and engaging recollections of his many experiences offer researchers a revealing portrait of Texas liberalism during the mid-twentieth century.