Honoring Bob Bullock
"Texas is the greatest state in the country."
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, who championed the preservation and exhibition of Texas history and worked to establish the museum that opened in 2001.
Early Life and Political Career
Born in Hillsboro, Texas, Robert “Bob” Douglas Bullock, Sr. (1929—1999) attended Hill College before joining the Air Force in 1951 and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a law degree from Baylor University. In 1956, Bullock was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
In a political career that spanned nearly 40 years, Bullock is credited as being the principal architect of modern Texas government. He championed voting rights for 18-year-olds, campaign finance and election law reform, environmental issues, health and juvenile justice, and the state’s educational funding system.
Bullock’s 16-year tenure as State Comptroller of Public Accounts was distinguished by a series of innovations. From 1975 to 1991, he transformed the agency into one of the most efficient in the state and became the first elected official to adopt an equal opportunity program that ushered in an era of ethnic diversity, hiring and promoting record numbers of women and minorities.
Bob Bullock served two terms as Texas’s 38th Lieutenant Governor from 1991 to 1999 before retiring from public office. Due largely to his insistence that government work for the best of Texas, Bullock is remembered for his bipartisanship and ability to bring about consensus on issues that long divided legislators.
Champion of History
Bob Bullock often expressed his love of Texas and was a serious student of Texas history. While lieutenant governor in 1995, Bullock began discussing the idea of a state history museum informally with state and local leaders after numerous visits to museums in other states.
The State Preservation Board (SPB)— for which he served as co-vice chairman—coordinated the planning effort for the new museum. The resulting plans were approved and funding was secured from the legislature in 1997.
In April 1999, Bullock was the guest of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Bullock died on June 18, 1999, in Austin at the age of 69, before the museum was completed.
Opened in 2001, the museum honors Bullock's vision with three floors of gallery space featuring original artifacts, a dynamic schedule of temporary exhibitions, two theaters, and a robust film and program schedule that celebrates Texas history and culture.
As great as this state is, we have no state museum in our state capital, a magnificent museum where our history can be properly displayed…Texas has gone too long without one. Bob Bullock