Mr. Speaker, today we honor the life and memory of longtime Texas lawmaker and my friend, Jack Ogg of Houston, Texas who recently passed away at the age of 84. Jack Ogg was a political icon who had a 52- year career in Texas politics and law.
He represented the Houston area for 16 years, first as a State Representative and then as a State Senator. His love for the State of Texas and the law prompted him to further serve with a run for Texas Attorney General.
After an unsuccessful race, Jack returned to his renowned law practice in Houston. When I was a criminal court judge in Houston, Senator Ogg practiced in my court.
Jack was also the father of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. Kim worked alongside her father at the Ogg Law Firm and remembers her father not only as a great statesman, but a wonderful father who kept his family as his top priority.
Kim said her father, ‘‘was my closest confidante.’’ Mr. Speaker, when I saw Jack recently at the funeral of our friend, the late Texas Governor Mark White, you could tell he was beaming with pride for Kim and how she was carrying on the Ogg tradition of public service.
Those who served in the legislature alongside Jack said he did what he thought was best for his district and worked inside the rules of the legislature instead of concerning himself with partisan fights. He did what was right and stuck to his principles.
Jack told friends he was proud of authoring the bilingual education act in Texas; the bill to create Metro in Harris County; and a measure re-instating the death penalty in the state. Jack’s friend Houston attorney Robert Pelton described Ogg as, ‘‘one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met in my life’’ who did many good things for the state of Texas.
I admired Jack’s adventurous spirit and determination. He suffered from congestive heart failure for many years, but that didn’t stop him from being active not only in Houston, but across the globe.
Just a few months ago, Mr. Speaker, he took a cruise to Spain and Italy. His family said he was born with an explorer’s heart and he traveled to more than 225 countries and islands, and visited all seven continents.
Senator Ogg was born in 1933 during the Depression. His family moved to Houston in the 1950s.
He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas then worked his way through the University of Houston, where he was twice elected class president. He went to law school at night at South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1962.
He lost his beloved wife of more than 50 years, philanthropist Connie Harner Ogg, to cancer in 2010. Mr. Speaker, those who worked with Jack in the State Legislature and at his law practice agree he was larger than life with a sharp mind and keen craft.
Today, I salute Senator Ogg’s many contributions to our state and the city of Houston. My prayers are with District Attorney Ogg, her brother Jon Ogg, their spouses, Jack’s three grandchildren, as well as his brothers Larry and Jim Ogg.
We will dearly miss Senator Jack Ogg. They don’t make ’em like Jack Ogg anymore.
And that’s just the way it is.