John G. Tower Chronology
|1925||Born September 29 in Houston, Texas.|
Graduates from Beaumont High School in Beaumont, Texas.
Enrolls as a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
|1943||June, enlists in the U.S. Navy.|
|1943-1946||Serves aboard amphibious gunboat in the Western Pacific.|
|1946||March, discharged from Navy with rank of Seaman First Class.|
|1946-1989||Enlisted officer in the United States Naval Reserve.|
Receives B.A. in political science from Southwestern University.
Radio announcer at station KFDM in Beaumont, Texas
Radio announcer at country and western radio station KTAE in Taylor, Texas.
|1949-1951||Graduate student at Southern Methodist University.|
|1950-1951||Insurance agent, Dallas, Texas.|
|1951-1960||Assistant Professor of Political Science at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.|
|1952||March 21, marries Lou Bullington in Wichita Falls. They have three children: Penny (1954), Marian (1955) and Jeanne (1956). John and Lou are divorced in December 1976.|
|1952-1953||Does graduate work at the London School of Economics and Political Science of the University of London, including field work on the organization of the Conservative Party in Britain.|
|1953||Receives M.A. in political science from Southern Methodist University. Master’s thesis entitled, “The Conservative Worker in Britain: Why a Working Man Supports the Tories.”|
|1954||Runs losing race for Texas State Representative from 81st District.|
|1956||Texas delegate to the Republican National Convention. Serves as delegate again in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1980.|
|1960||June, resigns his position at Midwestern State University to run against Lyndon B. Johnson for U.S. Senate in the November general election. Johnson wins the Senate seat, but he also wins election as Vice-President. When Johnson resigns the Senate seat, William Blakely is appointed to fill the position until a special election, required by Texas law, can be held.|
|1961||On April 4, leads a field of 70 candidates in the Special Senate Election. On May 27, wins runoff election. Takes office on June 15, becoming the first Republican senator elected from Texas since 1870, the third in the history of the state, and the first from a southern state since Reconstruction. At the age of 35, is the youngest senator in the 87th Congress.|
The senator with his parents, Dr. Joe Z. and Beryl Goodwin Tower, at the Tower family farm near Douglasville, Texas in 1966.
|1961||Named Kappa Sigma Man of the Year.|
|1961-1964||Serves on Labor and Public Welfare Committee|
|1961-1984||Serves on Banking and Currency Committee, later called Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, 1971-1985.|
|1962, 1969-1984||Serves on Senate Republican Policy Committee.|
|1962-1963||Member of National Republican Senatorial Committee. Also a member from 1969-1970 and 1973-1974.|
|1962||Writes book, A Program for Conservatives , with a foreword by Barry Goldwater (McFadden, 1962).|
|1963-1977||Serves on the Joint Committee on Defense Production.|
|1964||Receives honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Southwestern University.|
|1965-1984||Serves on Senate Armed Services Committee.|
|1966||Wins election to second term as U.S. Senator by margin of 56.7 percent, or approximately 200,000 votes. Wins one-third of the Mexican-American vote in Texas.|
|1968||Named Distinguished Alumnus of Southwestern University.|
|1968-1991||Member of Southwestern University’s Board of Trustees.|
|1969-1970||Chairs National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.|
|1972||Wins re-election to a third term as U.S. Senator. Campaign directed by Nola Smith, one of the few women to head a major campaign at this time.|
|1973-1984||Chairs Senate Republican Policy Committee.|
|1975||Southwestern University inaugurates the Tower-Hester Chair of Political Science.|
|1975-1976||Vice-Chairman of Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (Church Committee).|
|1977||May, marries Lilla Burt Cummings. They are divorced in 1987.|
|1977-1979||Member of the Select Committee on Ethics.|
|1977, 1979-1980||Member of the Rules and Administration Committee.|
|1978||Wins re-election to fourth term as U.S. Senator.|
|1980||Chairs National Republican Platform Committee.|
|1981-1984||Chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.|
|1983||August 23, announces plans to retire from the Senate in a news conference at the state capitol in Austin, Texas.|
January 3, retires from the United States Senate.
January 18, named by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Chief U.S. Negotiator with the rank of ambassador at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks with the former Soviet Union in Geneva.
Reading Colonel Travis’ letter from the Alamo at the annual Texas Independence Day celebration, 1984.
April, resigns post as U.S. Negotiator to enter private business.
November, appointed by President Reagan to chair the President’s Special Review Board (also known as the Tower Commission) to study the role and functions of the National Security Council and NSC staff during the Iran-Contra Affair.
|1986-1988||Distinguished lecturer in political science at Southern Methodist University.|
|1987||“Report of the President’s Special Review Board” issued February 26.|
|1987-1991||Serves on President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Chairman of Tower, Eggers and Greene Consulting, Inc., Dallas and Washington.|
|1988||Nominated by President Bush to be Secretary of Defense.|
January-March, Secretary of Defense Senate confirmation hearings. March, nomination rejected by the Senate.
Retires from U.S. Naval Reserve with rank of Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate.
|1990||July, appointed by President Bush to chair the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.|
February, autobiography, Consequences: A Personal and Political Memoir
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991), is published.
April 5, Senator Tower dies in a commuter plane crash near New Brunswick, Georgia, which also kills his daughter, Marian.
The protection of our security, our vital issues abroad, the support of our well-motivated foreign policy objectives, and the continuing quest for freedom are our highest calling.
-John G. Tower