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Robert C. Eckhardt
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Lera Millard Thomas
Succeeded by Jack Fields
Member of the Texas House of Representatives

In office
Personal details
Born Robert Christian Eckhardt
(1913-07-16)July 16, 1913
Austin, Texas
Died November 13, 2001(2001-11-13) (aged 88)
Austin, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Orissa Stevenson, Nadine Ellen Cannon, Celia Morris
Children Orissa Eckhardt, Rosalind Eckhardt, Sarah Eckhardt
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1943-1944

Robert Christian "Bob" Eckhardt (July 16, 1913 – November 13, 2001) was a Democratic United States Representative representing the 8th District of Texas from 1967 to 1981.

Early life and family[]

Eckhardt was born in Austin, Texas on July 16, 1913. He was the grand-nephew of Democratic Congressman Rudolph Kleberg, nephew of Republican Congressman Harry Wurzbach, and a cousin of Richard Mifflin Kleberg, Sr., heir to the famous King Ranch in South Texas. Eckhardt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1935 and received his law degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1939. He served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1944. Eckhardt was appointed Southwestern Director of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, 1944–1945.[1]

Political career[]

He moved to Houston, Texas and was elected a member of the Texas House of Representatives, serving from 1958 to 1966, where he compiled a fairly liberal voting record. One of Eckhardt's most enduring accomplishments in the Texas House was writing the Texas Open Beaches Act, passed in 1959.[2]

In 1966, he was elected as a Democrat in Congress representing Texas's 8th congressional district, which included most of northern Houston. Eckhardt was the sponsor of the War Powers Act and the Toxic Substances Act.[3] He was reelected six times without serious difficulty. In 1980, however, he was narrowly defeated by Jack Fields, losing by only 4,900 votes. He was also a co-founder of the Texas Observer magazine.[4]

Eckhardt died on November 13, 2001, in Austin, Texas. He was interred in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery.[5]

Books authored[]

  • Eckhardt, Bob. The Tides of Power: Conversations on the American Constitution between Bob Eckhardt, Member of Congress from Texas, and Charles L. Black Jr., Sterling Professor of Law, Yale University (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976)


External links[]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lera Millard Thomas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Jack Fields

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