Tony Garza

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Tony Garza
United States Ambassador to Mexico
In office
November 22, 2002 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Jeffrey Davidow
Succeeded by Carlos Pascual
Texas Railroad Commissioner
In office
Preceded by Barry Williamson
Succeeded by Victor G. Carrillo
98th Secretary of State of Texas
In office
January 17, 1995 – December 31, 1997
Governor George W. Bush
Preceded by Ron Kirk
Succeeded by Alberto Gonzales
Cameron County Judge
In office
Personal details
Born Antonio Oscar Garza Jr.
(1959-07-07) July 7, 1959 (age 59)
Cameron, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) María Asunción Aramburuzabala (m. 2005; div. 2010)
Liz Beightler (m. 2012)
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin (B.A.)
Southern Methodist University School of Law (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer

Antonio Oscar "Tony" Garza Jr. (born July 7, 1959)[1] is an American lawyer who was the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009. In recognition of his work, Mexico bestowed on him the Águila Azteca, the highest award granted to foreigners, in 2009. Prior to his appointment as ambassador, Garza had served as Secretary of State of Texas from January 1995 to November 1997 and was also chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.

Early life and education[edit]

Garza is the son of a gasoline station owner and the grandson of Mexican immigrants to the United States.[2][3] Garza received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1983 from Southern Methodist University School of Law.[4]


After practicing as an attorney, Garza became a judge in Cameron County in 1988.[5] He served as the Texas Secretary of State from January 1995 to November 1997 before later being elected as one of the three member board of the Texas Railroad Commission, where he served as chairman.[3][2][6]

In 2002, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, a position he held until 2009.[3][2] In 2009, the year he retired from the office, Garza received the Águila Azteca from Mexico in recognition of his work to strengthen the bonds between Mexico and the United States.[5] This is the highest award that Mexico bestows on foreigners. Thereafter, he took a position as counsel with White & Case LLP and also as chairman of management consultancy firm Vianovo Ventures.[6][5]

Personal life[edit]

Garza married María Asunción Aramburuzabala, the president of Tresalia Capital who had a personal fortune valued at $1.8 billion, according to one source.[7] The couple divorced in May 2010.[8] He subsequently married Dr Liz Beightler.[9]


  1. ^ Antonio Oscar Garza Jr., Texas Birth Index
  2. ^ a b c "Toasting the power of love", Houston Chronicle, April 22, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c "Bush selects Texas ally, Garza, as U.S. ambassador to Mexico". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. July 17, 2002. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Antonio O. Garza Jr". White & Case LLP. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  5. ^ a b c Perez-Trevino, Emma (July 18, 2009). "Tony Garza plans for future beyond public office". The Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  6. ^ a b Gibbes, Rodney (May 6, 2013). "TribLive: A Conversation with Tony Garza". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  7. ^ Laura Bush to attend Mexican beer baroness' wedding to US diplomat: report AFP
  8. ^ Aramburuzabala y Garza se divorcian (in Spanish)
  9. ^ "About Antonio Garza". 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-23. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ron Kirk
Secretary of State of Texas
Succeeded by
Alberto Gonzales
Preceded by
Barry Williamson
Texas Railroad Commissioner
Succeeded by
Victor G. Carrillo
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jeffrey S. Davidow
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
Succeeded by
Carlos Pascual