Bill Sarpalius

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William Clarence "Bill" Sarpalius
Bill Sarpalius.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 13th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Beau Boulter
Succeeded by Mac Thornberry
Texas State Senator from District 31
In office
1981–1989
Preceded by Robert Dale "Bob" Price
Succeeded by Teel Bivins
Personal details
Born (1948-01-10) January 10, 1948 (age 67)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Nationality Lithuanian-American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jenny Barnett Sarpalius
Children David William Sarpalius
Alma mater Clarendon College
Texas Tech University
West Texas A&M University
Occupation Businessman; Lobbyist
Religion United Methodist

William Clarence "Bill" Sarpalius (born January 10, 1948) is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, who from 1989 to 1995 represented Texas' 13th congressional district, a large tract of land which includes the Texas Panhandle eastward to Wichita Falls, Texas.

Sarpalius (pronounced SAR POL IS) was born in Los Angeles, CA.[1] As a young boy, he, his two younger brothers, and their mother were homeless in Houston, Texas. In 1961, when he was thirteen, he and his brothers were placed at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch near Amarillo. By the time he was nineteen, Sarpalius was the state president of the Future Farmers of America. He first attended Clarendon College in Clarendon in Donley County. He subsequently received a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, from which he was later named a distinguished alumnus. In 1972, Sarpalius was hired by Farley's Ranch as a vocational agriculture teacher at the school. In 1978, he left the ranch to return to school and received an M.B.A. from West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. He then launched a career in agribusiness. He has a son, David William Sarpalius, from a former marriage. Sarpalius is Catholic and affiliated with Lions International and the Masonic lodge.[1]

In 1980, Sarpalius successfully ran for a seat in the Texas State Senate, a body in which he served until 1989. He was elected in 1988 to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a member of the Agricultural Committee. Sarpalius was one of a number of congressman involved in drafting the guidelines of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As a Lithuanian-American, Sarapalius called for American aid to the newly independent country of Lithuania, which was severed from the former Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. In 1998, he was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas by the President of Lithuania.

Sarpalius gained a second term in the House in 1990, when he defeated the Republican State Representative Richard A. Waterfield of Canadian in Hemphill County, who resigned from the legislature to make the congressional race. In 1992, Sarpalius halted the bid to return to Congress waged by former Republican U.S. Representative Beau Boulter of Amarillo, who vacated the House seat in 1988, when he waged a failed campaign to oust Democratic U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen.

In 1994, Sarpalius was one of a large number of Democrats unseated in the Republican Revolution. He lost to Mac Thornberry, who still holds the seat. Afterwards, Sarpalius was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton as a top official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is currently the chief executive officer of Advantage Associates, a powerful Washington consulting firm made up of former elected officials.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bill Sarpalius", Who's Who in America, Vol. 2, 48th ed. (Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1994), p. 3019

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Robert Dale "Bob" Price
Texas State Senator
from District 31

1981–1989
Succeeded by
Teel Bivins
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Beau Boulter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 13th congressional district

1989–1995
Succeeded by
Mac Thornberry