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Roy Bass

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Roy Byrn Bass, Sr.​

In office
1974​ – 1978​
Preceded by Morris "Moe" Turner
Succeeded by Dirk West​

Born October 31, 1918​
Waco, McLennan County
Texas, USA
Died December 16, 1978​
Lubbock, Texas​
Resting place Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock
Nationality American
Political party Democrat (in nonpartisan position)​
Spouse(s) Anita Seay Bass (married, 1942-1978, his death)​
Children Roy Bass, Jr.

David Dewey Bass
​ Mark Ivan Bass
Ivan and Carrie Byrn Bass

Alma mater Baylor University

Baylor Law School​

Occupation Attorney
Religion Southern Baptist

Roy Byrn Bass, Sr. (October 31, 1918 – December 16, 1978), was an attorney with the firm Bass and Hobbs[1] who served from 1974 until 1978 as the mayor of Lubbock, Texas.[2] In 2008, prior to the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lubbock, observed in 2009, Bass was named one of the "100 Most Influential Persons" in the city's history.[3]


Bass was born in Waco, Texas, to Ivan Bass and the former Carrie Byrn.[4] Bass received his Bachelor of Arts and LL.B degrees from Baylor University and Baylor Law School in Waco. He was a trustee of Baylor and a former member of the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He also served on the advisory council of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.[5]

Political lifeEdit

​ Though Bass was a Democrat, the offices of mayor and city council are nonpartisan in all Texas municipalities. Bass met in Lubbock with U.S. President Gerald Ford, on the day before[6] Ford lost his fight to challenger Ronald W. Reagan of California for all delegates at stake in the Texas Republican primary election held on May that year.[7] The Ford diary does not indicate that Bass crossed party lines to endorse Ford but relates merely that he, along with radio broadcaster Clint Formby of Plainview in Hale County, greeted the President.[6]

George Kennett Hobbs (1929–2010), a native of Ardmore in southeastern Oklahoma, was Bass's law partner and mayoral campaign manager. Hobbs left Lubbock in 1987 and relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee.[8]

Former Mayor David Langston recalls that the Basses were "leaders in the effort to improve racial relations within our community. They were for people and businesses who went the extra mile trying to promote diversity in employment and improving and reducing racial discrimination." The Roy B. Bass Human Relations Award is named in his honor.[9]

The Roy Bass Memorial Award is presented by the Southwest Lubbock Rotary International.[10]​​

Death and legacyEdit

Bass and his wife, the former Anita Seay (May 3, 1919 – February 27, 2001), a native of Briscoe County, Texas, married in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. After his death, Mrs. Bass maintained the family's involvement in Lubbock civic and community affairs. Bass died of an apparent heart attack after working out with a son at the Lubbock Young Men's Christian Association gymnasium.[5] Some six months earlier, he had completed his second two-year term as mayor. Mrs. Bass died twenty-two years later of Parkinson's disease.[9]

The Basses had three sons, Roy Byrn Bass, Jr. (born 1947), also a Lubbock attorney,[11] David Dewey Bass (born 1949) of Tampa, Florida, and Mark Ivan Bass (born 1951), a Lubbock financial planner,[12] and five grandchildren. The couple is interred at Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock. The Basses were charter members of the Second Baptist Church of Lubbock. Mrs. Bass was one of the first women to sit on the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. She also was a founding member of Second Baptist Church and was one of the first female deacons in the convention.[9] Bass himself was also a Second Baptist deacon.[5]

Anita Bass was vice president of the founding board of the South Plains Food Bank. She was cited for her long-term dedication to community service as the recipient of the George Mahon Award, named for former U.S. Representative George Herman Mahon (1900-1985) and given by the group, Women in Communications. She was also active with the American Cancer Society, Lubbock Arts Festival, and Muscular Dystrophy Association.[9]

Plaque honoring Roy Bass at the Texas Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock

In 2008, Roy Bass was listed among the "100 Most Influential People" from Lubbock, as part of the city centennial observation.[3]


  1. First National Bank at Lubbock v. United States of America. (1972). Retrieved on January 5, 2011; no longer on-line.
  2. Lubbock City Council History. Retrieved on January 5, 2011; no longer on-line.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The City's Most Influential People". The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (March 9, 2008). Retrieved on January 5, 2011; no longer on-line.
  4. Date of birth, parents' names, and place of birth confirmed by Franklin-Bartley Funeral Home, 4444 South Loop 289, Lubbock, Texas, 806-799-3666.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 David Wilkinson (December 18, 1978). Roy Bass Dies in Lubbock. Baptist Press. Retrieved on November 18, 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Daily Diary of President Gerald R. Ford, April 30, 1976. Retrieved on January 5, 2011; no longer on-line.
  7. Republicans: Reagan's Startling Texas Landslide. Time (May 10, 1976). Retrieved on November 18, 2019.
  8. Kennett Hobbs obituary. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (December 1, 2010). Retrieved on November 9, 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Anita Bass, prolific champion of civic causes, dies at 81. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (February 28, 2001). Retrieved on January 3, 2011; no longer on-line.
  10. David A. Miller. Retrieved on January 5, 2011; no longer on-line.
  11. Bass, Jr., Roy Byrne. Retrieved on November 18, 2019.
  12. What Wall Street, Boomers, and Parents could learn from Mark Bass. (November 9, 2007). Retrieved on January 6, 2011; no longer on-line.