Henry B. González

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Enrique Barbosa

"Henry B." González​

U.S. Representative for Texas' 20th congressional district ​
In office
November 4, 1961​ – January 3, 1999​
Preceded by Paul J. Kilday​
Succeeded by Charlie González
In office
1957 – November 4, 1961

Member of the San Antonio City Council
In office

Born May 3, 1916​
San Antonio, Texas​
Died November 28, 2000 (aged 84)
San Antonio, Texas​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Bertha Cuellar González (1917-2017) (married 1940-2000, his death)​
Children Eight children, including his congressional successor, Charlie Gonzalez​
Alma mater San Antonio College
University of Texas at Austin
St. Mary's University School of Law​
Religion Roman Catholic

Henry Barbosa González, born Enrique Barbosa González, known as Henry B. González (May 3, 1916 – November 28, 2000), was a Democratic politician who represented Texas's 20th congressional district, based in his native San Antonio, from 1961 to 1999.[1]​ The downtown San Antonio convention center is named in his honor. ​


González was the son of Mexican-born parents Genoveva Barbosa and Leonides González (from Durango), who came to Texas during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). He attended San Antonio College and the University of Texas at Austin for his bachelor's degree. He obtained the Juris Doctorate from S. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio. He worked as a probation officer fand served from 1953 to 1956 on the San Antonio City Council. In 1956, he was elected to the Texas Senate, a post he filled until taking his congressional seat in 1961.


In September 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy appointed Rep. Paul J. Kilday (1900-1968) of Texas's 20th congressional district to the United States Court of Military Appeals. González entered the special election for the seat in November 1961 and defeated a strong Republican candidate, attorney John William Goode (1923-1994), for whom former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to San Antonio to endorse. Mexican film star Cantinflas appeared with then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson at supermarkets and shopping center to support González, who after that race would never again face a close outcome.[2] He was unopposed for a full term in 1962 and was reelected seventeen times thereafter. He never faced truly serious or well-funded opposition, having been unopposed in 1970, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1984. In fact, the 20th was (and remains) so heavily Democratic that González faced Republican opposition only five times.

On November 22, 1963, González was in the motorcade in Dallas when U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Earlier in 1963, González became embroiled in a public dispute with Edgar Franklin "Ed" Foreman, Jr., one of the then two Republican members of the Texas delegation to the U.S. House and than a resident of Odessa. When Foreman called him "a communist" and a "pinko", González confronted him. In 1968, when a restaurant patron called him "a communist," González punched the man in his face. He was acquitted of assault after the owner of the establishment dropped charges.

Frequently González advocated the impeachment and conviction of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, citing Iran-Contra, and George Herbert Walker Bush, whom he opposed politically.

González was a first cousin of the Laredo physician Joaquin Cigarroa.


  1. Official Congressional Biography
  2. Gilbert Garcia, "Castro unlike O'Rourke has much to lose," San Antonio Express-News, March 31, 2017, p. A2.