Max Sherman

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Max Ray Sherman
Texas State Senator from District 31 (Panhandle)
In office
Preceded by Grady Hazlewood
Succeeded by Robert Dale Price
Texas Senate President Pro Tempore
In office
Preceded by O.H. "Ike" Harris
Succeeded by James P. Wallace
Personal details
Born (1935-01-19) January 19, 1935 (age 82)
Viola, Fulton County
Arkansas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gene Alice Wienbroer (married 1961)
Children Two children
Residence Austin, Travis County, Texas
Alma mater

Baylor University

University of Texas Law School
Occupation Lawyer
College president
Sherman was voted the "Best Member of the Legislature" by Texas Monthly magazine during his state senate tenure from 1971 to 1977.

Max Ray Sherman (born January 19, 1935) is a former member of the Texas State Senate from Amarillo, Texas. He was also president of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, and dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Early years, education, military[edit]

Sherman was born in Viola in Fulton County in northern Arkansas, next to the Missouri state line. As an infant, he moved to the now ghost town of Phillips in Hutchinson County in the Texas Panhandle. At Phillips High School, he was the student body and class president. He received a scholarship from Phillips Petroleum Company and served as a monitor in a freshman dormitory to pay his expenses in attending Baylor University in Waco. He also sold Bibles door-to-door during the summers. At Baylor, Sherman was elected student body president and designated the "Most Representative" senior male student. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1957 and then enrolled at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, from which he graduated with honors in 1960. He was elected as a permanent officer of his law school class.[1] After graduation, Sherman enlisted in the United States Army and was thereafter commissioned as a captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps.[1]

Legislator and college official[edit]

Upon leaving the army, Sherman joined the Amarillo law firm of Gibson, Ochsner, Adkins, Harlan, and Hankins. In time, he became a partner.[1]

In November 1970, he was elected as a Democrat to the Texas Senate, District 31. He defeated the Republican nominee, the conservative Malouf Abraham, Sr., an oilman and state representative from Canadian, the seat of Hemphill County. Sherman received 37,593 votes (52.8 percent) to Abraham's 33,637 (47.2 percent). In that same election, the Houston Democrat Lloyd M. Bentsen defeated future U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, then a departing U.S. representative from Houston, for one of the two Texas seats in the U.S. Senate.[2] Sherman served on several Senate committees and was the Senate President Pro Tempore in 1974. During his tenure, Sherman was named "Best Member of the Legislature" by Texas Monthly magazine.[1]

In 1977, Sherman left the Senate to become president of then West Texas State University. He left the presidency in 1982 to run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Texas attorney general, a post vacated by Mark Wells White, who instead ran successfully for governor. U.S. Representative Jim Mattox of Dallas won the nomination for attorney general and then defeated in the general election the Republican Bill Meier, then a state senator from Tarrant County. In 1983, for several months, Sherman worked as special counsel in the administration of Governor White, who had unseated Republican Bill Clements of Dallas. In 1983, Sherman was named the dean of the LBJ School in Austin. He retired as administrator in 1997 but retained the chair in state and local government and taught courses thereafter on ethics and government.[1]

Honors and legacy[edit]

When Sherman announced his retirement as dean, the Texas Senate passed a resolution to honor him. At the ceremony, the late Senator Teel Bivins, an Amarillo Republican, described Sherman as "our most distinguished Panhandle resident."[1] In 1988, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library published Sherman's book The Future of Texas.[3] In 2007, Sherman edited the book, Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder, speeches from the late U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan of Texas.[4]

In 1998, Sherman was named "Texan of the Year" by the Advisory Committee of the Texas Legislative Conference. In 2000, Sherman, along with Malouf Abraham, Teel Bivins, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ernest O. Thompson, Pampa founder Timothy Dwight Hobart, and the Amarillo clergyman W. Winfred Moore, was named among the "100 Most Influential Persons of the High Plains" in the 20th century.[1]

Sherman in 1961 married the former Gene Alice Wienbroer (born ca. 1937) of Borger, also in Hutchinson County. The couple has two children. Retired in Austin, Sherman has taken up the hobby of fly fishing.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Greg Cunningham (May 19, 2000). "Max Sherman". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Texas Almanac 1972/1973, Election returns from November 3, 1970
  3. ^ "The Future of Texas". Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder. Google Books. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
Preceded by
Grady Hazlewood
Texas State Senator from District 31 (Panhandle)

Max Ray Sherman

Succeeded by
Robert Dale "Bob" Price
Preceded by
O.H. "Ike" Harris
Texas State Senate President Pro Tempore

Max Ray Sherman

Succeeded by
James P. Wallace