Joe M. Kilgore

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Joe Madison Kilgore
Joe M. Kilgore.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byLloyd Bentsen
Succeeded byKika de la Garza
Member of the
Texas House of Representatives
from Hidalgo County
In office
Preceded byEugene Harrell
Succeeded byJohn Taylor Ellis, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1918-12-10)December 10, 1918
Brownwood, Brown County
Texas, U.S.
DiedFebruary 10, 1999(1999-02-10) (aged 80)
Austin, Travis County
Resting placeTexas State Cemetery in Austin
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jane Redman Kilgore
Residence(1) Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas (2) Austin, Texas
Alma materTrinity University
University of Texas School of Law
AwardsSilver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with two Oak leaf clusters
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Air Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Joe Madison Kilgore (December 10, 1918 – February 10, 1999) served from 1955 to 1965 as a U.S. Representative from Texas's 15th congressional district.

Born in Brown County, near Brownwood in west central Texas, Kilgore attended the public schools of Rising Star in Eastland County in north central Texas. In 1929, he moved with his family to Mission in south Texas, where he also attended public schools.

From 1935 to 1936, Kilgore attended Trinity University, then known as Westmoreland College, located in San Antonio, Texas. His legal studies were interrupted at the University of Texas School of Law in July 1941 to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps. He was a combat pilot in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.

Kilgore was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with two Oak leaf clusters. He was discharged from the Army in 1945 as a lieutenant colonel.

He returned to law school, and in 1946 he was admitted to the bar. He began his law practice in Edinburg, Texas in Hidalgo County in south Texas.

He served as member of the Texas House from 1947 to 1955. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1956, 1960, and 1968.

Kilgore grave at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas

Kilgore was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fourth and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1955 to January 3, 1965), when he was one of the majority of the Texan delegation to decline to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto opposing the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1964 to the Eighty-ninth Congress. Instead, he resumed the practice of law, residing in Austin until his death there on February 10, 1999. He is interred in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery alongside his wife, the former Jane Redman (1923-2006).


  • United States Congress. "Joe M. Kilgore (id: K000177)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eugene Harrell
Texas State Representative from District 91 (including Hidalgo County)
Succeeded by
John Taylor Ellis, Jr.
Preceded by
Lloyd Bentsen
United States Representative from Texas's 15th congressional district
Succeeded by
Kika de la Garza