Former Texas Senator Don Kennard dies at age 81

March 18, 2011 9:41:58 PM PDT
Don Kennard, a longtime Texas lawmaker and a conservationist, has died. He was 81. Kennard, who served in the Senate from 1963 to 1973, died Thursday after a lengthy illness. He also served in the Texas House from 1953 to 1963.

Kennard was known as the "filibuster champion" for once having filibustered for 29 hours and 22 minutes, not stopping until he had the votes he needed to create the University of Texas at Arlington.

Kennard also championed cigarette taxes dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of state parks.

Between legislative sessions in Austin, the liberal Democrat ran U.S. Rep. Jim Wright's office in Washington during Lyndon Johnson's New Frontier.