Meet the Author: Ross Tomlin

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016


Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe

This event is free and open to the public.

The Austin History Center invites you to an evening book discussion with Ross Tomlin, author of the recent book Homer Thornberry: Congressman, Judge, and Advocate for Equal Rights. Thornberry, born to deaf parents in Austin and an alum of Austin High and UT, led a long and distinguished political career as a U. S. Congressman and federal judge. Tomlin, Judge Thornberry's grandson, will discuss the book and his research. A book signing will follow the presentation and light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
About the Author:
Homer Ross Tomlin is a native Texan and grandson of the book's subject. He holds a master in public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a master in business administration from the University of Houston. Professional endeavors have included consulting, clean energy policy and outreach, public relations, and web and graphic design.


About the Book:
Former Congressman and Judge Homer Thornberry was a lifelong public servant widely respected for his integrity and championship of equal rights. The only child of destitute deaf-mute parents, he is one of just a few dozen individuals in U.S. history to serve at least 10 years in each the legislative and judicial branches at the federal level. 
Then-Senator Lyndon Johnson and House Speaker Sam Rayburn each considered Thornberry a valuable ally and close personal friend. They constituted part of a small minority of southern Congressmen to help pass watershed civil rights bills amid social upheaval over race. His membership on the powerful House Rules Committee was critical to advancing President Kennedy's New Frontier agenda. Subscribing to the belief that self-empowerment was achievable through equal access to quality education, he also spearheaded legislation supporting higher education and deaf communities.
After his transition to the federal judiciary, Thornberry continued to push for civil rights reform as a district judge and later as a member of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which served most of the Deep South at the time. He authored the majority opinion that found Texas's poll tax on state elections to be unconstitutional. Thornberry was also assigned to hundreds of controversial desegregation cases, playing an integral part in integrating public schools across the South. As President, Johnson nearly succeeded in placing Thornberry on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Written by his grandson, this book takes a critical look at Thornberry's compelling life story and distinguished career.


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