Gus Wortham
Portrait of a Leader
Business History - Texas History
6 x 9, 304 pp.
40 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 08/01/1994
  cloth
Price:        $29.95

978-0-89096-580-1
  paper
Price:        $29.95 s

978-1-62349-154-3

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Gus Wortham

Portrait of a Leader

By Fran Dressman
Foreword by Sterling C. Evans

Gus S. Wortham was a good businessman. Among other enterprises, he started a highly successful insurance company, American General, and helped to shape the economic institutions of Houston.

Gus Wortham was a civic leader, who worked actively in the Chamber of Commerce to influence the city's economic climate and who left the city a legacy of cultural institutions, including the Wortham Theater Center.

Gus Wortham was a rancher and land developer. Land: "they aren't making any more of it," he liked to say. So he bought it, developed it, and built a business with it.

In short, he became one of the most influential men in the history of Houston. This is the story of his life, his business, his city. Company records and interviews with all Wortham's surviving friends and associates combine to make it a thorough account. Urban and business historians alike will find this book a fascinating study, and those who know, or want to know, Houston will find it an enlightening chronicle.

FRAN DRESSMAN of Houston earned her master's of arts degree in public history at the University of Houston. She is a business and technical writer.

What Readers Are Saying:

“A clear and informative narrative about Wortham's diverse economic, political, and cultural activities."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"This book is an interesting history of the life of Gus Wortham and gives the reader a glimpse of how a few men shaped early Houston and founded many of the city's prominent business institutions."--Houston Lawyer

“The entire work is compelling in that it opens up to the reader avenues of understanding as it relates to the symbiotic relationship between corporate growth and urban development . . . What emerges is a sophisticated and polished account of a local personage, that is skillfully placed within national and even international context.”--West Texas Historical Association Year Book

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