|56th Mayor of Houston|
|Preceded by||Fred Hofheinz|
|Succeeded by||Kathryn J. Whitmire|
|Born||March 15, 1928
|Died||March 14, 1997
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame|
James Joseph McConn (March 15, 1928 – March 14, 1997) was the mayor of Houston, Texas from 1978 to 1982. To date, McConn was the last Republican to take the mayoral office.
McConn was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He moved with his family to Houston in 1939, where he met Marjorie Gougenheim, whom he married in 1947. He attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and then returned to Houston, where he became engaged in the building-materials business and then in home construction.
He became president of the Greater Houston Homebuilders Association in 1969, and from there became known in local politics, having been appointed to a vacant seat on the Houston City Council by then Mayor Louie Welch in 1971. He was reelected to the council in 1973, but did not run in 1975. In 1977, he ran for mayor. In the first round, he lost by a large margin to conservative former district attorney Frank Briscoe, but he won the runoff election due in large part to support from minority voters and endorsements from other first-round candidates. He won reelection in 1979 against councilwoman Louis Macey, but lost to Kathy Whitmire in 1981.
After leaving office, McConn served as vice president of the Houston Sports Association, which at the time owned the Houston Astros baseball team (1981–1989), and as director of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (1989–1997). He died of cancer at the age of sixty-eight.
- "City's heyday mayor, McConn, dies at 68". Houston Chronicle. March 15, 1997. p. 1 (section A).
|Mayor of Houston, Texas
Kathryn J. Whitmire