Jim Wright, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, passed away today at the age of 92.
A native of Weatherford, Wright graduated from Weatherford College in 1941 and was voted WC Alumnus of the Year in 1972.
“When it comes to alumni who have accomplished great things in their careers, it’s hard to surpass Speaker Jim Wright,” said Brent Baker, WC Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “He spoke last year at our Alumni Awards Luncheon, and at the age of 91 and with some difficulty speaking, he still showed that incredible Jim Wright intelligence and wit. He was extremely personable; he never met a stranger. He was very loyal to Weatherford College and loved Weatherford as a whole.”
After flying combat missions and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross in World War II, Wright returned to Weatherford to become the youngest mayor in Texas history at the age of 26.
Elected to Congress at 31, he served 18 consecutive terms and authored major legislation in the fields of foreign affairs, economic development, education and energy. He served 10 years as majority leader before becoming speaker in 1987.
Wright helped President Jimmy Carter achieve the historic peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. He was also the principal advocate in Congress for an energy policy to reduce the United States’ dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
There is a WC Foundation scholarship in Speaker Wright’s honor, earmarked for social science students.
Photo: Jim Wright speaks during the 2014 Weatherford College Alumni Awards Luncheon.