|John Bowden Connally, Jr.|
61st United States
Secretary of the Treasury
February 11, 1971 – June 12, 1972
|Preceded by||David M. Kennedy|
|Succeeded by||George Shultz|
January 15, 1963 – January 21, 1969
|Preceded by||Price Daniel|
|Succeeded by||Preston Smith|
January 25, 1961 – December 20, 1961
|President||John F. Kennedy|
|Preceded by||William B. Franke|
|Succeeded by||Fred Korth|
|Born|| February 27, 1917|
Wilson County, Texas
|Died|| June 15, 1993|
|Resting place||Texas State Cemetery at Austin|
|Political party||Democrat-turned-Republican (1973)|
|Spouse(s)||Nellie Brill Connally (married 1940-1993, his death)|
|Relations|| Actor Merrill Connally|
State Senator Wayne Connally (brothers)
|Alma mater|| University of Texas at Austin|
UT School of Law
|Occupation|| Lawyer; businessman|
John Bowden Connally, Jr. (February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993), was both a Democrat and Republican politician who served as governor of his native Texas from 1963 to 1969. He served in the Cabinet of both John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon but was personally closest to Lyndon B. Johnson.
Connally was commissioned in the United States Navy Reserve in 1941, where he went through nine major air-sea battles in the Pacific. In April 1945 he endured fifty-two consecutive hours of Japanese kamikaze attacks. He was credited as a hero and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. He returned home to work in politics and worked for Lyndon B. Johnson's 1946 reelection campaign to Congress and his 1948 Senatorial Campaign. There where allegations that Connally had been involved in voter fraud after a suspicious late report of 200 votes in Box 13 from Jim Wells County came in for Johnson, resulting in his 87-vote victory.
In 1961, Connally served as secretary of the navy under President John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he was elected governor of Texas but only narrowly won the Democratic nomination for the position. He then faced a stronger than usual Republican nominee, Houston industrial Jack M. Cox (1921-1990). In 1963, he sustained serious gunshot wounds while riding in President Kennedy's car during his assassination; however, he recovered quickly. Connally was easily reelected as governor in 1964 in his race against Republican Jack Crichton and in 1966, when the little-known T. Everton Kennerly, a Houston attorney, ran as the GOP nominee against Connally. In the 1966 contest, Republican John Tower was elected to a second term.
Although a Democrat, he called himself "a conservative who believed in active government." And in 1971, he became Richard Nixon's Secretary of the Treasury. In 1972, he vacated the treasury secretary's position to organize the political action committee "Democrats for Nixon" to support President Nixon's reelection. Connally switched political parties from the Democrat to Republican in 1973. He briefly tested the presidential waters in 1980, but failed to win the Republican Party nomination (He garnered only one delegate, Ada Mills of Arkansas, in part because of a "wheeler-dealer" image from the media. After the 1980 South Carolina primary, he left politics and returned to private life.
The Connally Memorial Hospital in his native Floresville in Wilson County is named for the Connally family.