John H. Hannah, Jr. '65

JOHN H. HANNAH, JR.John H. Hannah, Jr., a native of Diboll, serves as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Hannah received his Bachelor of Science in government in 1964 from Sam Houston State University.

Hannah was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1966 and served three terms representing Angelina, Trinity, San Jacinto and Polk counties. He was a member of the "Dirty Thirty" House members who eventually forced the investigation of the Speaker of the House and others in the Sharpstown bank scandal.

While serving in the legislature, Hannah attended South Texas College of Law, gaining a law license in 1971. He went on to serve as district attorney for Angelina County from 1973-1975.

In 1975, Hannah resigned as district attorney to become the legal counsel for the public interest group Common Cause, where he was active in preventing the crippling of the Open Meetings Act, the Lobby Control Act and other reform laws.

In 1977, President Carter appointed Hannah as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. For almost 10 years, until 199 1, Hannah handled both civil and criminal cases in the private practice of law.

On the date of Ann Richards' inauguration, Jan. 15, 1991, Hannah was appointed Secretary of State. He was recently nominated by President Clinton to be a federal judge for the Eastern District of Texas. U.S. Senate confirmation of the appointment took place March 10, 1994.

Hannah has served as a member of the SHSU Friends of the Liberal Arts advisory group and has successfully sought funding for student scholarships in the Department of History.

Hannah currently resides in Tyler with his wife, U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith K. Guthrie. Hannah has one son, 26-year-old John Hannah III, who lives in Austin.

As profiled at October 29, 1993 Distinguished Alumni Banquet


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