Bob Price

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Robert Dale "Bob" Price​

U. S. Representative for Texas's 18th congressional district​
In office
January 3, 1967​ – January 3, 1973​
Preceded by Walter Edward Rogers​
Succeeded by Barbara Jordan​ (district realigned to cover Houston)

U. S. Representative for Texas' 13th congressional district​
In office
January 3, 1973​ – January 3, 1975​
Preceded by Graham Purcell​
Succeeded by Jack Hightower​

Texas State Senator for District 31
In office
1978​ – 1981​
Preceded by Max Sherman​
Succeeded by Bill Sarpalius​

Born September 7, 1927​
Reading, Lyon County
Kansas, USA
Died August 24, 2004 (aged 76)
Pampa, Gray County
Resting place Fairview Cemetery in Pampa​
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Martha Ann "Marty" White Price​ (married 1951-2004, his death)
Children David Wayne Price (died at birth)

Robert Grant Price (died 1987)
Carl Benjamin Price
Janice Ann Price Johnson​
Benjamin Ferguson, Sr., and Gladys Ann Watson Price

Alma mater Reading (Kansas) High School

Oklahoma State University at Stillwater​

Occupation Rancher​

United States Air Force in Korean War

Religion Southern Baptist

Robert Dale Price, known as Bob Price (September 7, 1927– August 24, 2004), was a Republican U.S. Representative from Pampa, Texas, who served from 1967 to 1975. He was subsequently from 1978 to 1981 a state senator.​ ​ Considered to have been among the most conservative members of his party, Price was only the second Republican since Reconstruction to represent Texas's 18th congressional district. (The first Republican representative from the since reconfigured district, Ben Hugh Guill (1909-1994), also of Pampa, held the seat for only eight months in 1950.​)


Price was born to the former Gladys Ann Watson (1897-1990) and Benjamin Ferguson Price, Sr. (1898-1962), in rural Reading in Lyon County in eastern Kansas.[1] He was educated in the Reading public schools and in 1951 received his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. After graduation, he married the former Martha Ann "Marty" White (born 1929).

From 1951 to 1955, Price served in the United States Air Force. He flew twenty-seven combat missions during the Korean War and received the Air Medal.​ The Prices moved to Texas after his discharge from the Air Force. Throughout his adult life, he owned and operated a ranch near Pampa in Gray County northeast of Amarillo. The ranch was located in portions of four counties and had been in the Price family since 1907.​[2]

Price was the only member of Congress who flew Mach-3 in the SR-71 Blackbird, the F111-A, and the F-4E Phantom.[3]

Eight years in Congress

Price became involved in state Republican politics. He was a delegate to the state GOP conventions in 1964, 1966, and 1968. He was a delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, which nominated Richard M. Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew for president and vice president, respectively.[2]

In 1964, Price made his first race in the 18th District by challenging the 14-year Democratic incumbent, Walter Edward Rogers, who prevailed with 58,701 votes (55 percent) to Price's 48,050 (45 percent). Rogers had been initially elected to Congress in November 1950, when he unseated the short-term Representative Ben Guill. Price's showing was numerically the best that any Republican congressional candidate made in Texas in 1964, the year that native Texan U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson overwhelmed Barry Goldwater of Arizona.​[4]

Price ran again in 1966, but Rogers decided not to seek reelection to a ninth term, and the Democrats nominated Dee D. Miller to contest the seat. Price defeated Miller, 45,209 votes (59.5 percent) to 30,822 (40.5 percent). [4] Price was joined in the Texas delegation by a second better-known Republican, George Herbert Walker Bush of Houston, the future U.S. president. Price's party gained forty-seven U.S. House seats nationally but still remained in the minority as the new session of Congress opened in January 1967. He was the first Republican to win a full term in this district.​[5]

Price served on the House Agriculture Committee and on the Manned Space Flight and NASA Oversight subcommittees. He became very popular in his district; even though most of its living residents had never been represented by a Republican before (not counting Guill's brief stint), the area was already starting to move away from its Democratic roots. Voters in this area had begun splitting their tickets as early as the 1940s, though conservative Democrats continued to hold most local offices (and would continue to do so well into the 1990s). Price was reelected in 1968 with 65.2 percent of the ballots cast, and he was unopposed in 1970.​

In 1972, even though Texas had gained a seat in redistricting, the Texas legislature merged Price's district with the Wichita Falls-based 13th congressional district held by the six-term Democrat Graham Boynton Purcell, Jr. (1919-2011). The reconfigured district retained Purcell's district number, it was geographically and demographically more Price's district than Purcell's; Price retained more than two-thirds of his former territory. As a result, Price defeated Purcell, 87,084 votes (54.8 percent) to 71,730 (45.2 percent).​[4]

A Watergate casualty

In 1974, Price was among dozens of Republican congressmen repudiated by voters in the Democratic "Year of Watergate" even though these members had nothing to do with the scandal that had forced President Nixon to resign his office. Price was defeated by Democrat Jack English Hightower (1926-2013) of Vernon in Wilbarger County west of Wichita Falls. Hightower had a solid majority, 53,094 (57.6 percent) to Price's 39,087 (42.4 percent).[4] Hightower's winning total was nearly twenty thousand below Purcell's losing tally in 1972. More than half of Price's 1972 supporters hence deserted him.​

In 1976, Price lost to Hightower in an attempted comeback. Hightower prevailed with 101,798 votes (59.3 percent) to Price's 69,328 (40.4 percent).​[4]

Later election results

Price entered the Texas State Senate as a result of a special election held in 1977 to fill the District 31 seat vacated by the Democrat Max Sherman, who resigned to become the president of West Texas A&M University in Canyon in Randall County. Price used the slogan "Price is Right for Texas." He held the seat for a partial term, 1978 to 1980. In the 1979 legislative session, Price along with two Republicans from Fort Worth, Elizabeth Richards "Betty" Andujar (1912-1997) and Bob Ware, were included among the "Ten Worst Legislators" by Texas Monthly magazine.[6]

In 1988, when Republican U.S. Representative Eldon Beau Boulter (born 1942) of Amarillo ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against the Democrat Lloyd Bentsen of Houston, Price entered the primary to succeed Boulter but lost the GOP nomination to Amarillo businessman Larry S. Milner, a 1967 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. The seat nevertheless went to a Democrat in the fall, State Senator William Clarence "Bill" Sarpalius (born 1948), who defeated Milner, 52.5 to 47.5 percent. Sarpalius had won the state senate seat that Price vacated in 1980 and served in that capacity until he was elected to the U.S. House.​

Price sought the GOP congressional nomination again in 1990, but he lost to Richard Allen "Dick" Waterfield (1937-2007), a state representative from Canadian in Hemphill County, known for his advocacy of meal-delivery programs for the elderly and disabled.[7] Price ran again in 1992 but was defeated in the primary by Boulter. After winning their subsequent nominations, both Waterfield and Boulter were subsequently defeated by Sarpalius in the general election.​ ​


Price was a member of the First Baptist Church of Pampa. He was active in the Masonic lodge and the Shriners and had also been affiliated with the Downtown Pampa Kiwanis International.[3]

Price was recognized posthumously by the Texas House of Representatives in January 2005 in a proclamation presented by his Pampa friend, Warren Daryl Chisum (born 1938). The proclamation cited Price's "sense of humor, strength of conviction, and dedication to public service. Bob Price sought to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and he leaves behind a legacy of achievement that will surely inspire those who will follow in his footsteps."​

Price died in Pampa. In addition to his wife, "Marty," he was survived his son, Carl Benjamin Price, husband of the former Kelly Wiemann of Houston; daughter, Janice Price Johnson, the wife of Marc Johnson, of Indianapolis, Indiana, and brother, Benjamin F. Price, Jr. (1924-2014), of Reading, Kansas, who was married to the former Edith Ruth Jacob (1925-2007).[8] At the time of his death, there were seven Price grandchildren: Nicholas, Miles, and Elise Johnson and Courtney, Grayson, Bridget, and Daniella Price.[3]

His services were held at First Baptist Church with pastor, Dr. Johnny Funderburg, and the associate pastor, Barry Owens, officiating. He is interred at Fairview Cemetery in Pampa.[2]. At the funeral in 1987 of the Prices' son, Grant, Price wrote, "He was loaned to his mother and me for a very short time." The obituary continues: "Bob Price was loaned to our family and friends to make a difference in our lives. He was kind and caring to many different people in many different walks of life. No person was unimportant to him."[3] His longtime canine companion, "Waggs," soon followed Price in death.​


  1. Benjamin F. Price, Sr.. Retrieved on January 9, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biography: Price, Robert Dale. Retrieved on January 9, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Robert D. Price. Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Home (August 25, 2004).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections, U.S. House​.
  5. Carl H. Moneyhon. Republican Party. The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 9, 2020.
  6. Best and Worst Legislators (by year). Texas Monthly magazine. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  7. Person of the Week: Dick Waterfield. Retrieved on October 29, 2011.
  8. Benhamin F. Price, Jr.. Retrieved on January 9, 2020.

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