George Herman Mahon

U.S. Congress, BA 1924

George Herman Mahon was born September 22, 1900, in Haynesville, Louisiana. In 1908 the family moved to Loraine, Texas, where Mahon attended a rural school and graduated from Loraine High School in 1918. He enrolled in Simmons College and was awarded his Bachelor of Arts in 1924. One year later he received his LL.B. degree from the University of Texas School of Law. In 1926 he was elected County Attorney for Mitchell County and in 1927 was appointed by Governor Dan Moody as District Attorney of the 32nd Judicial District. He was elected to successive two-year terms from 1928 to 1932.

In 1934 Mahon was elected to represent the 19th Congressional District of Texas. Mahon retained his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives until 1978. He was elected Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations in 1964. He was one of only half a dozen men in Congress trusted with knowledge of the Manhattan Project. He served as a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. His 44 years of service made him the longest sitting member of Congress upon his retirement.

Mahon’s honors include the Distinguished Service Award of the American Political Science Association, the George Washington Award of the Good Government Society, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Distinguished Public Service Award, the Man of the Year Award of the Reserve Officers Association, and the Distinguished Public Service Award of the American Legion. He was awarded five honorary degrees including a Doctor of Laws from Hardin-Simmons University in 1964. Congressman Mahon was awarded the John J. Keeter Award from HSU in 1959 and in 1972 he was chosen as an HSU Distinguished Alumnus.

Mahon married Helen Stephenson in 1923, and they had one daughter.

In 1984 the couple returned to Colorado City, Texas, and on November 19, 1985, George Mahon died at the age of 85.