Gib Lewis

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Gibson Donald "Gib" Lewis
Gib Lewis.jpg
Gib Lewis applauds Governor Mark White's address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature.
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byBill W. Clayton
Succeeded byPete Laney
Member of the Texas House of Representatives from Tarrant County (districts vary)
In office
Preceded byRobert M. Burnett (District 52)
Succeeded byHomer Dear (District 89)
Personal details
Born (1936-08-22) August 22, 1936 (age 82)
Oletha, Limestone County, Texas, USA
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sandra Majors Lewis
ResidenceFort Worth, Texas
Alma materCleveland (Texas) High School
Sam Houston State University
OccupationBusinessman; lobbyist
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1957-1961

Gibson Donald Lewis, known as Gib Lewis (born August 22, 1936), is a political consultant and a Democratic former politician from Fort Worth, Texas. He was the first person to be elected five times as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, but he did not seek reelection in 1992, in compliance with a plea bargain agreement connected with his misdemeanor conviction of a violation of Texas financial disclosure law.[1]


Lewis was born in Oletha in Limestone County and reared partly in Mexia in east central Texas. He spent his formative years in Cleveland, Texas, where he graduated in 1955 from Cleveland High School. He then enrolled at Sam Houston State College in Huntsville in Walker County in East Texas. Lewis later enlisted in the United States Air Force and went on to serve as a B-52 aerial gunner. While stationed at Carswell Air Force Base, he continued his studies at Texas Christian University. Lewis was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1961.[2] He then took a job as a salesman for a paper company and three years later, opened his own firm specializing in pressure-sensitive labels and decals. It grew into a multimillion-dollar business. Lewis continues as president of Lewis Label Products, Inc., today, three decades after its founding.[3]

Since leaving the state legislature, he has lobbied state government on behalf of private clients.[1][4]

Lewis is married to the former Sandra Majors.[1]

He is the namesake of the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and the Gib Lewis Prison Unit in Woodville, Texas.

Political career[edit]

Lewis was elected Speaker in 1983 to succeed Bill W. Clayton of Springlake, Lamb County. He was a key figure in passing the 1984 education act, designed by Ross Perot and Democratic Governor Mark White, hailed at the time as one of the most sweeping public education reforms in Texas history. He was instrumental in the passage of the 1985 comprehensive Texas Water Plan. He later promoted legislation to combat crime, including stricter laws against drunk drivers. An avid sportsman, Lewis carried legislation creating the "Operation Game Thief" program and was a sponsor of the Uniform Game Management Act.[4][5]

In 1969, Lewis was elected to the River Oaks City Council. He arrived the next year in Fort Worth, the county seat of Tarrant County.[4]

In 1970, Lewis was elected to the House from Tarrant County. In 1973, he was named chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. In 1977, he chaired the House Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs.

Criminal activity[edit]

Conviction on ethics charges[edit]

In January 1992, Lewis pleaded no contest to two charges alleging that he illegally accepted a gift from a prominent law firm in San Antonio, Texas, and failed to disclose the money on official financial reports filed with the state. As part of a plea bargain, Lewis agreed to not seek reelection and to pay a fine of $1,000 for each charge.[1][6]

DWI arrest[edit]

In June 2009, Lewis was arrested in the capital city of Austin, on probable cause of driving while intoxicated. His breathalyzer test indicated a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.16 g/dl, twice the legal limit in Texas, and over three times the "best practices" limit recommended by the World Health Organization.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gib Lewis Biography". Texas House Speakers Oral History. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Texas Politics - Speakers of the House: Gibson D. Lewis". Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  4. ^ a b c Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council (February 2002). Presiding Officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002 (PDF) (Revised 2002 ed.). Austin, Texas: The Council. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  5. ^ "Lewis backs license suspension for DWI". Austin American-Statesman. February 15, 1991. p. B3.
  6. ^ Kuempel, George (January 23, 1992). "Lewis pleads no contest to 2 ethics accusations - Speaker fined $2,000, spared jail time". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  7. ^ Fikac, Peggy (June 26, 2009). "Austin Police: Former House Speaker Gib Lewis arrested for DWI". mySA. San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2009-06-26.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Global status report on road safety: time for action. World Health Organization. 2009. p. 22. ISBN 978-92-4-156384-0. Retrieved 2009-06-26. [B]lood alcohol concentration, or the equivalent breath alcohol content limits, … should be 0.05 g/dl or below

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert M. “Bob" Burnett
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 52-4 (Fort Worth)

Succeeded by
Obsolete district
Preceded by
Obsolete district
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 32-4 (Fort Worth)

Succeeded by
Obsolete district
Preceded by
Obsolete district
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 32-E (Fort Worth)

Succeeded by
Charles Evans
Preceded by
Roy English
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 32-G (Fort Worth)

Succeeded by
Obsolete district
Preceded by
Senfronia Thompson
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 89 (Fort Worth)

Succeeded by
Homer Dear
Political offices

Preceded by
Bill Clayton
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Pete Laney