Ann Richards was the 45th Governor of Texas, succeeding Governor Bill Clements. She was born Dorothy Ann Willis on September 1, 1933 to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona Warren Willis. She grew up in the Lacy Lakeview area, just north of Waco, Texas. Her father worked as a truck driver for a pharmaceutical company. During World War II, the family briefly moved to San Diego, California before returning to live once more in Waco, Texas. She attended and graduated from Waco High School in downtown Waco. Her family was not wealthy, but she took piano and elocution lessons. Once when she was a senior at Waco High, she and classmate Marilyn Reese played a piano duet and took third place in a city-wide musical talent contest. Foreshadowing her later political career, Ann also was on the high school debate team and was selected to be a representative to Girls State, an American Legion Auxiliary leadership organization that mirrors each state’s government. She was attracted by the process and was selected as a representative to Girls Nation, a group select individuals from from among the Girls State representatives. Richards entered Baylor University in Waco after high school graduation on a debate scholarship. The future governor married her high school boyfriend, David Read Richards, in 1953 during her junior year in college, and Ann went on to graduate from Baylor University in Speech and Government the following year.
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