News 88.7 in partnership with Humanities Texas launches Texas Originals — a new weekly radio segment profiling individuals whose lives and achievements have had a profound influence upon Texas history and culture.
Zachary Scott February 21, 1914–October 3, 1965 Actor and Texas native Zachary Scott had an air of sophistication, said one of his fans, that made him look like he'd "been born in a dinner jacket." Best known for portraying scoundrels, playboys, and villains, Scott was one of Texas’s most recognizable faces during Hollywood’s golden age.Born in Austin in 1914, Scott studied acting at the University of Texas. He worked in regional theaters in England before landing... Read More
J. Mason Brewer March 24, 1896–January 24, 1975 Scholar and folklorist John Mason Brewer was born in Goliad in 1896. Over his fifty-year career, Brewer almost single-handedly preserved the African American folklore of his home state.Brewer's grandfathers were wagoners who hauled dry goods across Texas. His father worked as a cowboy, traveling to the Indian Territories and Kansas...
Carlos E. Castañeda November 11, 1896– April 3, 1958 Historian Carlos Castañeda changed how we think of the Southwest. Through exhaustive research, he told the story of the Texas-Mexico borderlands as one of shared culture and heritage, rather than conflict and division.Raised in Brownsville, Castañeda earned his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin in 1932. He served there as professor and librarian for the rest of his life.In his 1928 book The Mexican Side... Read More
Charles Franklin (Frank) ReaughDecember 29, 1860–May 6, 1945The series of pastels titled Twenty-four Hours with the Herd depict an iconic Texas scene: the cattle drive. Artist Frank Reaugh completed the series in the 1930s, but they portray an earlier chapter of Texas history, when fences had not yet crossed the landscape, and men and cattle moved freely on the open range.Born in Illinois in 1860, Reaugh moved to Texas when he was fifteen. His family... Read More
King Wallis Vidor February 8, 1894–November 1, 1982Born in Galveston in 1894, King Vidor grew up with the movies. Over the course of his career, he directed both silent and sound films and worked with many of Hollywood’s top stars, from Charlie Chaplin to Audrey Hepburn.Vidor began his career in film as a teenager, working as a projectionist in a Galveston theater. His first hit came in 1925, with The Big Parade, the highest grossing... Read More
ROY BEDICHEK June 27, 1878–May 21, 1959 According to J. Frank Dobie, the writer and naturalist Roy Bedichek “liked to cook outdoors, eat outdoors, sleep outdoors, look and listen outdoors, [and] be at one ... with the first bob-whiting at dawn.” Bedichek was born in 1878 and raised on a farm south of Waco, where he absorbed the sights, sounds, and rhythms of the blackland prairie. He spent the majority of his professional career as... Read More
DOMINIQUE (1908–1997) AND JOHN de MENIL (1904–1973)Houston is the home of world-class art. That’s due in part to the generosity of Dominique and John de Menil: a French couple who left their Nazi-occupied homeland in 1941, ultimately settling in Houston.As John rose to prominence in the oil industry, he and Dominique developed a passion for collecting art. Inspired by their friendship with Father Marie-Alain Couturier, a Dominican priest who championed a new religious art, the.....
Norris Wright Cuney May 12, 1846–March 3, 1898 African American leader Norris Wright Cuney forged a remarkable career in post-Civil War Texas. Born into slavery in 1846, he nonetheless studied law and became a civic and political force in the years following Reconstruction. Cuney was the child of Adeline Stuart, a slave on a Hempstead plantation, and Stuart's owner, Philip Minor Cuney. At thirteen, Cuney’s father freed him and sent him north to... Read More
Katherine Anne Porter May 15, 1890–September 18, 1980 Critics call Texas-born writer Katherine Anne Porter a “poet of the story.” Her carefully crafted short fiction earned her the highest acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.Porter was born in 1890 in Indian Creek to a family of modest means. As an adult, she lived for several years in Mexico, and later at points throughout the U.S. and Europe. But her most accomplished stories... Read More
James Frank Dobie September 26, 1888–September 18, 1964 Called the “Storyteller of the Southwest,” James Frank Dobie was born in 1888 on his family’s cattle ranch in Live Oak County. During his long life, J Frank Dobie would live astride two worlds: a rugged life on a Texas cattle ranch and the state’s modern centers of scholarly learning.Dobie came to Austin in 1914 to teach at The University of Texas. In time he pioneered an influential... Read More