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Maury Maverick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maury Maverick
Maury Maverick.jpg
159th Mayor of San Antonio
In office
Preceded byC. K. Quin
Succeeded byC. K. Quin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1939
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byPaul J. Kilday
Personal details
Born(1895-10-23)October 23, 1895
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
DiedJune 7, 1954(1954-06-07) (aged 58)
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Texas, Austin

Fontaine Maury Maverick (October 23, 1895 – June 7, 1954) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas, representing the 20th district from January 3, 1935, to January 3, 1939.[1] He is best remembered for his independence from the party and for coining the term "gobbledygook" for obscure and euphemistic bureaucratic language.[2][3]


Coat of Arms of Maury Maverick
Coat of Arms of Maury Maverick

Maverick was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Albert and Jane Lewis (Maury) Maverick. His grandparents were Samuel Maverick, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and the source of the word maverick, and Mary Ann Adams Maverick. He studied at Texas Military Institute, the Virginia Military Institute, and the University of Texas.


Early years

Maverick was admitted to the bar in 1916 and practiced law in San Antonio. He was a first lieutenant in the infantry in World War I and earned the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.

In the 1920s, he was involved in the lumber and mortgage businesses.

Government service

From 1929 to 1931, he was the elected tax collector for Bexar County.

He was elected to the Seventy-fourth Congress in 1934, with support from the Hispanic population of his district, and re-elected to the Seventy-fifth. During his 1934 campaign, Maverick enlisted Lyndon Johnson, a then little-known congressional secretary, to work for him during the Democratic primary.[4] In the House, he was an ardent champion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. He angered the conservative Democrats running the party back in Texas, including John Nance Garner.

He was defeated in the primary for a third term in 1938. He returned to Texas where he was elected Mayor of San Antonio, again with support from minority voters, serving from 1939 to 1941, when he was labeled a Communist and defeated. During World War II, he worked for the Office of Price Administration and the Office of Personnel Management, and served on the War Production Board and the Smaller War Plants Corporation.

Later years

After the war, he practiced law in San Antonio.

Personal and death

Maverick was a cousin of congressmen Abram Poindexter Maury and John W. Fishburne of Virginia and nephew of congressman James Luther Slayden of Texas, who married Ellen (Maury) at a Maury home called Piedmont in Charlottesville, Virginia, now part of the University of Virginia. They are related to Matthew Fontaine Maury, Dabney Herndon Maury, and the early and prominent Fontaine, Dabney, Brooke, Minor, Mercer, Herndon, Slaughter, and Slayden families of Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas.

He married Terrell Louise Dobbs and had a daughter and a son, San Antonio newspaper editorialist Maury Maverick, Jr. (who died in 2003 at the age of 82).

Maverick died on June 7, 1954.



  • United States Congress. "Maury Maverick (id: M000263)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
  • Doyle, Judith Kaaz. Out of Step: Maury Maverick and the Politics of the Depression and the New Deal. Ph.D. diss., University of Texas at Austin, 1989.
  • Henderson, Richard B. Maury Maverick: A Political Biography. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970.
  • Weiss, Stuart L. “Maury Maverick and the Liberal Bloc” Journal of American History 57 (March 1971): 880-95.
  • American Notes & Queries: Gobbledygook talk: Maury Maverick's name for the long high-sounding words of Washington's red-tape language, 1944.
  • Tuscaloosa News, of Alabama: The explanation sounds like gobbledeegook to me, 1945.
  • Fontaine Maury Maverick from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Maury Family Tree (book) by Sue West Teague.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
Paul J. Kilday
Political offices
Preceded by
C.K. Quin
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
Succeeded by
C.K. Quin
This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 01:55
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