Hipolito Frank Garcia III

HIPOLITO FRANK GARCIA III was born on December 4th, 1925 to Francisca and Hipolita Garcia II. Hipolito Frank Garcia III has influenced the lives of many Mexican Americans throughout Texas. His family came from generations of ranchers in Coahuila, Mexico, until their land was seized during the Mexican Revolution. The family moved several times before settling in the Lavaca neighborhood of San Antonio. Hipolito II devoted his time to a career as a chef for the Menger Hotel and the St. Anthony’s Hotel, and Francisca was a housemaid to the residents of San Antonio. 

Hipolito Garcia III graduated from Brackenridge High School in the early 1940s. From 1943 to 1946, Garcia III served in the United States Army with the 3rd Armored Division. While he was stationed in Germany during World War II, he was responsible for driving tanks throughout the country. Garcia III decided to attend St. Mary’s School of Law and earned his doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1951.  Soon after his graduation, Garcia III passed the State Bar of Texas Exam in 1951.

Garcia III worked with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office as his first job in law from 1952 to 1964. After 12 years as an attorney, he was promoted to Judge for the Bexar County Court-At-Law until 1974. In 1974, he changed positions once again and became the Bexar County 144th Judicial District Court Judge for criminal cases. In 1980, Garcia III was appointed United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas by former President James Earl Carter. He was the first Mexican American to be appointed to a seat in the Western District of the United States.

Hipolito Garcia III continued to hold the Western District of Texas seat until 2002 when he passed away. Two years after his death, the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building was erected in Alamo Plaza and was named accordingly in his honor.  

By Danielle Garza, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2019)

References:

Hipolito Frank Garcia.  Tᴇxᴀꜱ Sᴛᴀᴛᴇ Cᴇᴍᴇɴᴛᴇʀʏ. Accessed April 24, 2019.

New Book Preserves Memory of Judge Hippo. Rɪᴠᴀʀᴅ Rᴇᴘᴏʀᴛ. Accessed April 24, 2019.

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