October 23, 1895|
San Antonio, Texas
|Died||June 7, 1954(aged 58)|
|Alma mater||University 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. He is best remembered for his independence from the party and for coining the term "gobbledygook" for obscure and euphemistic bureaucratic language.
Maverick was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Albert and Jane Lewis (Maury) Maverick. His grandfather was Samuel Maverick, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and the source of the word maverick. He studied at Texas Military Institute, the Virginia Military Institute, and the University of Texas. He 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. 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. 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, the Office of Personnel Management, and served on the War Production Board and the Smaller War Plants Corporation. After the war, he practiced law in San Antonio.
He 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, which is now a part of the U.Va. 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.
Maverick married Terrell Dobbs and had a daughter and a son, San Antonio newspaper editorialist Maury Maverick, Jr., who died in 2003 at the age of 82.
- The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Matthewson to Maxson
- A Way with Words, public radio's lively language show/
- United Press. "Gobbledygook? Lay Off It, Maverick Says". Pittsburgh Press, March 31, 1944, p. 2. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
- Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power. Vintage Books, 1981. p. 276
- Maury Maverick at the 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.
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 20th congressional district
Paul J. Kilday
|Mayor of San Antonio, Texas