Notable Graduates

phil bennettPHIL BENNETT
COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH
Coach Phil Bennett was born Dec. 3, 1955 and attended Marshall Public Schools. Upon his graduation from Marshall High School in 1974, Bennett played four years of college football as a defensive end at Texas A&M. He began his coaching career in 1978 at Texas A&M and has coached college stints at Texas A&M, TCU, Iowa State, Purdue, LSU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, SMU, Pittsburgh and Baylor. Coach Bennett has served as defensive coordinator at Baylor since 2011, and was head coach at SMU from 2002-2007. He also served as interim head coach at Pitt during the 2010 season, just prior to joining Art Briles' staff at Baylor.
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james farmerJAMES L. FARMER, JR.
CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST
James L. Farmer, Jr. was born in Marshall in 1920 to James L. Farmer Sr., a professor at Wiley College, a historically black college. His father was an American author, theologian, educator and the first African-American from Texas to earn a doctorate (at Boston University) James Jr. was a child prodigy; at the age of 14, he was attending Wiley College, where he was the captain of the debate team. His part in its winning performance was portrayed in the 2007 film The Great Debaters, directed by and starring Denzel Washington. As co-founder and National Director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Farmer was the architect of the original CORE Freedom Ride of 1961. He devoted his career to civil rights and social injustice causes, working for the NAACP and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), CORE's parent organization, prior to his February 1961 election as director of CORE. In 1966, Farmer eventually left CORE and the Civil Rights Movement, citing its growing acceptance of racial separation as his reason. He served in the Nixon Administration as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and co-founded the Fund for an Open Society in 1975. President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. James L. Farmer, Jr. passed away on July 9, 1999, of complications from diabetes, but lived long enough to have the street of his birthplace in Marshall renamed James L. Farmer Avenue in his honor just north of Wiley College.
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sam b hall jrSAM B. HALL, JR.
LAWYER, POLITICIAN, JUDGE
Sam Blakeley Hall, Jr., was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the First Congressional District of Texas from 1976-1985 and served as a federal judge of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas from 1985 until his death in 1994. Born on Jan. 11, 1924 in Marshall, Hall served in the U.S. Army during World War II and graduated from the College of Marshall, which is now East Texas Baptist University. He also attended the University of Texas before enlisting in the Army Air Corps to serve during World War II. On returning to Marshall after the war, he married Mary Madeleine Segal and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Baylor University in 1946. He returned to Marshall to practice law in 1948, where he served until his election to Congress as a conservative Democrat in 1976 in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of incumbent Wright Patman. Hall also served as chairman of the Marshall Board of Education from 1972-1976. He was appointed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, where he served until his death on April 10, 1994.  The Sam B. Hall Federal Courthouse in Marshall was named in his honor.
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susan howardSUSAN HOWARD
ACTRESS
Jeri Lynn Mooney, better known as Susan Howard, was born in Marshall on Jan. 28, 1944. While a student at Marshall High School, she won a UIL award for Best Actress and was continually recognized for her acting talent. She graduated from MHS in the Class of 1960 and attended the University of Texas for two years before leaving for Los Angeles to become an acting student at the Los Angeles Repertory Company. She made several guest appearances on major television shows during the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Flying Nun, I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, Bonanza, and Mission: Impossible. She was cast as co-star of the NBC series Petrocelli in 1974, and her performance was nominated for both the Golden Globe and Emmy awards. She is most notably known for portraying the character of Donna Culver on the hit CBS drama Dallas in 1979, a role she played for eight years.
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ladybird johnsonLADY BIRD JOHNSON
FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES
Claudia Alta Taylor was born in Karnack on Jan. 22, 1912, in an antebellum plantation house on the outskirts of town purchased by her father shortly before her birth. As a young child she was given the nickname "Lady Bird" after her nurse said she was "purty as a ladybird." The nickname replaced her real name for the rest of her life, as her family called her "Lady" and her husband, Lyndon Johnson, called her "Bird." She graduated third in her class at the age of 15 from Marshall High School in the Class of 1928, and said later that that purposefully allowed her grades to slip during her senior year so that she would not have to give the valedictorian or salutatorian speech. She entered the University of Alabama initially during the summer of 1928, but a case of homesickness brought her back to Texas in the fall where she enrolled at St. Mary's Episcopal College for Women in Dallas. She later attended the University of Texas and received a degree in journalism in 1934. She was introduced to LBJ by a friend in Austin, with the future president working for Congressman Richard Kleberg at the time. Lady Bird and LBJ were married on Nov. 17, 1934, in San Antonio. The couple settled in Washington, D.C., once Lyndon was elected to Congress. LBJ was chosen by John F. Kennedy as a running mate during the 1960 presidential election, and he became Vice President after Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in the fall of that year. Lady Bird became First Lady of the United States on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas and LBJ was sworn in as President on the plane back to Washington. Lady Bird, along with Jacqueline Kennedy, were standing by his side as he took the oath of office. LBJ was re-elected in 1964 but chose not to run for a second full term in 1968. He died of a heart attack in 1973. Lady Bird remained a very popular public figure and former First Lady for the next three decades, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the becoming the first wife of a President to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. She passed away on July 11, 2007, at the age of 94 in West Lake Hills, Texas, and was buried next to her husband in Stonewall.
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bill moyersBILL MOYERS
JOURNALIST
Billy Don "Bill" Moyers was a member of the Marshall High School Class of 1952. Born in Hugo, Okla., on June 5, 1934, his family moved to Marshall and Bill attended Marshall Public Schools. He began his journalism career at the age of 16 as a cub reporter at the Marshall News Messenger. He studied journalism at North Texas State -- now the University of North Texas -- and was employed as a summer intern in 1954 by then-U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson. Moyers soon transferred to the University of Texas, where he wrote for the Daily Texan newspaper. He graduated from UT in 1956 and would also go on later to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 1959. He served as Lyndon Johnson's top aide during LBJ's unsuccessful bid for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, and was appointed as associate director of public affairs for the newly created Peace Corps in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Later during the Johnson administration, he served as LBJ's White House press secretary from 1965-1967. Upon leaving public office, Moyers has served as publisher for Newsday and has done extensive journalistic work with CBS News, NBC News and PBS. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995.
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terrance shawTERRANCE SHAW
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION
Terrance Shaw is a member of the MHS Class of 1991 and played cornerback on the Mavericks' 1990 state championship football team. His play as a senior on the 1990 title team, including a huge interception and return during the 21-19 win over Converse Judson in the championship game, earned him a football scholarship to Stephen F. Austin State University. Shaw lettered four years at SFA and was a Business major, and overcame a torn ACL during his sophomore year to be the first pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 1994 NFL Draft. Shaw played 10 seasons in the NFL for five teams, including the Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders. He played in two Super Bowls, including the Patriots' win over the St. Louis Rams in Super bowl XXXVI in 2001. He returned to the Super Bowl the following year with the Oakland Raiders, who lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. Overall in 10 seasons, Shaw's teams made six playoff appearances. Following his retirement, Terrance and his wife and seven children made their home in the Dallas area, where Terrence serves as a youth football coach and mentor.
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ya tittleY.A. TITTLE
NFL HALL OF FAMER
Yelberton Abraham Tittle, better known as Y.A., was born on Oct. 24, 1926, in Marshall, Texas. Y.A. grew up in Marshall Public Schools and was a standout football player for the Mavericks in the early 1940s. He graduated from MHS in 1944 and went on to star at Louisiana State University as a quarterback, where he was named the MVP of the 1947 Cotton Bowl. He was drafted in 1948 by the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), but the Colts joined the NFL in 1950. Tittle was then drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1951 NFL draft after the Colts folded and stayed there for 10 seasons. In 1961, Tittle was traded to the New York Giants and proceeded to lead the Giants to three straight Eastern Division championships. He once threw seven touchdown passes in a game on Oct. 28, 1962, in a 49-34 win over the Washington Redskins. In 1963, he set a then-NFL record with 36 touchdowns that season. Tittle's final season with the Giants was in 1964, and he retired after that season. He was the first professional football player featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and he made his fourth appearance on the cover following his retirement. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1971 and spent his post-retirement years founding his own company, Y.A. Tittle Insurance and Financial Services, in San Francisco. Over the years he has continued to make visits to Marshall and Caddo Lake, particularly during the fall as a visitor to Maverick football games. In September of 2014, Marshall ISD honored Y.A. by re-naming the football field house behind Maverick Stadium in his honor, the Y.A. Tittle Athletic Fieldhouse. A year later, at the age of 89, he attended the Mavs' win over rival Longview in the fall of 2015.
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