Crawford Martin

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Crawford Collins Martin
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 12th district
In office
Preceded by A. B. Crawford
Succeeded by J. P. Word
Texas Senate President Pro Tempore
In office
Preceded by Dorsey B. Hardeman
Succeeded by Neveille H. Colson
Secretary of State of Texas
In office
Preceded by P. Frank Lane
Succeeded by John Luke Hill
Attorney General of Texas
In office
January 1, 1967 – December 29, 1972
Preceded by Waggoner Carr
Succeeded by John Luke Hill
Personal details
Born (1916-03-13)March 13, 1916
Hillsboro, Hill County
Texas, USA
Died December 29, 1972(1972-12-29) (aged 56)
Austin, Travis County, Texas
Resting place Texas State Cemetery in Austin
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Ann Mash Martin (married 1941-1972, his death)
Residence (1) Hillsboro, Texas

(2) Austin, Texas

Alma mater Hill College

University of Texas at Austin
Cumberland School of Law

Profession Lawyer
Military service
Service/branch United States Coast Guard
Battles/wars World War II

Crawford Collins Martin (March 13, 1916 – December 29, 1972), a native of Hillsboro, Texas, was a Texas State Senator, Secretary of State of Texas, and Attorney General of Texas.

Early life[edit]

Martin was the son of Will M. Martin and the former Daisy Beavers. He was educated in public schools and graduated in 1935 from Hill College, a community college in Hillsboro. After having first attended the University of Texas at Austin, he obtained a law degree from Cumberland School of Law, then located in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1939, Martin was admitted to the Texas bar and commenced the practice of law with his brother, William, in Hillsboro. In 1941, he married the former Margaret Ann Mash (born 1921 in Brandon, also in Hill County, Texas). During World War II, Martin enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.[1]

Political career[edit]

Mayor and state senator[edit]

After the war, Martin was elected mayor of Hillsboro. In 1948, he was elected as a Democrat to the Texas Senate representing District 12, which his father had previously represented. The 12th District comprised all of the counties of Ellis, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Somervell in north central Texas. During his fourteen-year career in the Senate he served on a number of committees, including Finance. He sponsored legislation in insurance reform and securities regulation, and he was elected Senate President Pro Tempore in 1955. In 1957, he sponsored the state's first law requiring the registration of lobbyists.[2]

Martin served in the Senate from 1949 to 1963. In 1962, he ran for lieutenant governor but lost the Democratic nomination to future Governor Preston E. Smith. In 1963, Governor John B. Connally, Jr., appointed Martin as Texas secretary of state, a position that he held until 1966, when he was elected attorney general, the position vacated by fellow Democrat Waggoner Carr, who instead ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent John G. Tower.[2]

Attorney General[edit]

Under Martin's leadership, the attorney general's office added antitrust, consumer protection, crime prevention, and water control divisions to its organization. Martin made drug abuse and organized crime a focus, and he was the first attorney general of any state to file successful litigation against commercial drug manufacturers for fixing the prices of antibiotics. By this action his office was able to recover more than $4 million for consumers. Through litigation, Martin's office established the revised Sabine River boundary between Texas and Louisiana, having preserved valuable oil rights to the state. Martin's activities as attorney general won him both state and national recognition.[2]

Crawford Martin grave at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas

Nevertheless, Martin was defeated in the 1972 Texas Democratic primary in a re-election bid for a fourth two-year term by his successor as Secretary of State, John Luke Hill. Also going down to defeat were Governor Preston Smith, Lieutenant Governor Ben F. Barnes and others tainted, for real or imaginary reasons, by the Sharpstown scandal. All were defeated by "reform" candidates, including Dolph Briscoe, the new governor.[3]

Martin died in Austin of a heart attack just three days before he was to leave his office as attorney general. He is interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.[1]


Texas Senate
Preceded by
A.B Crawford
Texas State Senator
from District 12 (Hillsboro)

Succeeded by
J.P. Word
Preceded by
Dorsey B. Hardeman
Texas Senate President Pro Tempore
Succeeded by
Neveille H. Colson
Preceded by
P. Frank Lane
Secretary of State of Texas
Succeeded by
John Luke Hill, Jr.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Waggoner Carr
Attorney General of Texas
Succeeded by
John Luke Hill, Jr.