A.B. “Stormy” Shelton

Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., 1937

A.B. “Stormy” Shelton was born December 1, 1914, in Harlingen, Texas. He graduated from high school in 1933 and attended Hardin-Simmons University from 1933 to 1937. While a student at HSU he met and married Patty Hanks. They raised three daughters. After Patty’s death, Shelton later married Ruby Southard in 1987.

During World War II Shelton served as a captain with the 84th Infantry Division. He saw action in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Bronze Star.

In 1935 Shelton was employed by the Abilene Reporter-News, with which he was affiliated for the rest of his life. He was appointed President and Publisher in 1967 and was promoted to Chairman of the Board of Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. in 1995. Shelton served as President of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, as well as Chairman of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and the Hendrick Medical Development Corporation, and as President of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.

In 1968 Shelton was chosen as the Outstanding Citizen of Abilene and was also awarded the Texas Citizen Award by the State of Texas. Hardin-Simmons awarded Shelton an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1987. In 1990 he received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from Texas Baptist Development Officers Association and in 1995 the United Way of Abilene gave him its Volunteer Service Award. Governor John Connally appointed Shelton to serve on the Texas Water Commission, and Governor Preston Smith appointed him to the Texas Industrial Commission.

Shelton was a major financial supporter of HSU and the university’s football stadium is named in his honor. He established the A.B. and Patty Hanks Shelton Endowed Professorship in Gifted Education. Shelton was also instrumental in leading the campaign to establish the Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing. A.B. “Stormy” Shelton died January 18, 1997.

Hardin-Simmons University proudly honors the life of A.B. “Stormy” Shelton.