Bill Blythe

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William Jackson "Bill" Blythe, Jr.​

Texas State Representative for districts 22-3 and 91 (Harris County)​
In office
1971​ – 1983​
Preceded by Cletus A. "Cowboy" Davis (District 22-3)​
Succeeded by Edwin L. "Lanny" Hall (District 91 shifted to Fort Worth.)​

Born August 15, 1935​
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Divorced from Charlene Cotton Blythe​

(2) Adell M. "Dell" Blythe​

Children From first marriage:​

Ashley Chastain Blythe Zachry
​ Allison Robinson Blythe ​
Paige Griffin (stepdaughter)

Residence Houston, Texas​
Alma mater University of Texas at AustinUniversity of Virginia
London School of Economics
Occupation Real estate agent​

Former lieutenant colonel in United States Army

Religion Episcopalian

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Not to be confused with William Jefferson "Bill" Blythe, Jr., the biological father of U.S. President Bill Clinton

William Jackson Blythe, Jr., usually known as Bill Blythe or William Blythe (born August 15, 1935), is a real estate broker in Houston, Texas, and a Republican former member of the Texas House of Representatives for Harris County. His legislative service in the former District 22–3, subsequently District 91, extended from 1971–1983.[1]


A sixth generation Texan,[2] Blythe was born in San Antonio in Bexar County to William Blythe, Sr. (1907–2004), a native of Fordyce in Dallas County in southern Arkansas] and an attorney and colonel in the United States Army, stationed throughout the world during thirty-seven years of service. Colonel Blythe had been one of the trainers of the Green Berets. Blythe's mother is the former Bess Tyson of the Elkins Lake community near Huntsville in Walker County in East Texas, later of Houston. Her parents were Thomas Brown Tyson and the former Fannie Rose Robinson of San Jacinto County, Texas. Bess Blythe's forbears were among the founders of the Republic of Texas.[3]

Blythe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in general business from the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied economics and political science at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, and the London School of Economics in London, England. Blythe served for eight years in the United States Army, both active and reserve duty. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel from the Texas State Guard. A former member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Jaycees, he received that organization's Charles A. Perlitz, Jr. Memorial Award for "Leadership Training through Community Development."[4]

In 1962, Blythe joined his father, who retired that year from the Army, in the establishment in Austin of the former William Blythe Advertising and Public Relations Company.[3] With more than four decades in the real estate business, Blythe was as of 2011 an associate with Martha Turner Properties. His experience includes commercial and residential sales, building, and developing within the Houston Metropolitan Area.[4]

From his first marriage to the former Charlene Cotton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Cotton of New Waverly, also in Walker County, Texas, Blythe has two daughters, Alison Robinson Blythe and Ashley Chastain Blythe Zachry, son-in-law, Josh Zachry, and grandson, Davis Blythe Zachry. After his divorce, Blythe married Adell M. "Dell" Blythe and acquired a stepdaughter, Paige Griffin.[5] Blythe is a member of the associate vestry at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston.[4]

Legislative service

Blythe was elected to the House in 1970 though the top statewide Republican candidates that year, George Herbert Walker Bush and Paul Walter Eggers, both strongly supported by then Republican U.S. Senator John Tower, lost their races for the U.S. Senate and governor of Texas, respectively, to Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr., of Houston and Preston Smith of Lubbock. As a House member, Blythe authored legislation creating the Texas State Pension Review Board. He served on the pension board 1979 to 1991. He also wrote the Texas Crime Victims Act and the law establishing the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District. He cdo-authored revisions to the Texas Mass Transit Authority Act for the Houston and San Antonio metropolitan areas. He was a founding member and for fourteen years, he was the executive director of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems. Blythe is a director of the Texas Hedge Fund Association, established in 2002. He is a founding member of the National Society of Pension Professionals.[4]

In 1982, Blythe ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary against freshman state Senator J. E. "Buster" Brown, then of Lake Jackson in suburban Houston and now a lobbyist in Austin.. Reflecting on that campaign, Brown said that the two disagreed on few issues but that the race became personally divisive.[6]


  1. W. J. "Bill" Blythe, Jr.. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on February 10, 2021.
  2. Bill Blythe, Realtor. Retrieved on March 24, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Obituary of William J. Blythe, Sr., Houston Chronicle, April 15, 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 William Blythe. Retrieved on March 24, 2020.
  5. Blythe Zachry Wedding. Huntsville (Texas) Item (October 13, 2006). Retrieved on September 23, 2011; article no longer on-line.
  6. Morgan Smith (November 3, 2009). Primary Races Tend to Be Bloody. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on March 24, 2020.