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Prominent families in North Texas have been the
cornerstone for the power and progress from Dallas to
Dubai. Their real lives became the mythology of Giant,
to Dallas, to the Dallas Cowboys.
Behind each powerful person there is a great story. Here
is a small glimpse into the stories behind the powerful
who made Texas, and put DFW on the map and in our
Family of Fort Worth
The Bass Family traces its fame and fortune to one
of the most consummate of Texas oil wildcatters, Sid
Richardson. Mr. Richardson grew up in Athens, Texas
along side good friend and fellow future oil baron,
Clint Murchison, Sr.
Richardson’s sister, Anne Richardson, married the prominent Fort Worth doctor,
Perry Richardson. Perry
Richardson Bass, their son, became Mr. Richardson’s
chief associate and his investing skills turned Mr.
Richard’s oil fortune into a much larger one.
Bass, who died in 2006 at age 91, married Nancy Lee
Muse, and together they had four sons, Sid, Robert,
Edward, and Lee, who form the core of the leadership in
Fort Worth. The father and all four sons graduated from
Yale University and remain among its largest
has managed the family fortune through
Enterprises. Robert Bass has branched off on his own with the
Robert M. Bass Group,
Inc., and recently,
Ed Bass is a businessman, philanthropist, and
environmentalist, who conceived the Biosphere 2
an artificial closed ecological system in Arizona. He is
the chairman of
Diversified Development, an investment firm.
Lee Bass, a well know outdoorsman, owns
Lee M. Bass, Inc.,
an energy company. He has been active in the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department and the revitalization of the
renowned Fort Worth Zoo.
The Bass family developed
Sundance Square, a
downtown Fort Worth re-development
project, which includes commercial and residential space. They
led the development of the
Bass Performance Hall, which
opened in 1998.
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Hunt Family of Dallas
Together with Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison Sr.,
and Houston’s Hugh Cullen,
(better known as
H.L.), made Texas what it is today through their
discoveries of oil throughout the state.
Hunt was considered the richest man in America for a
great deal of the 20th century.
H.L. and his
1st wife, Lyda, had six children: H.L.
‘Hassie’ Hunt Jr.,
Margaret Hunt Hill, a
Dallas philanthropist; Caroline Rose Hunt,
founder of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts; Nelson
Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt, who earned
worldwide notice for trying to corner the silver market;
and Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City
Mr. Hunt later married
Ruth Ray, a secretary in his office.
four children: Ray, June, Helen,
and Swanee. While the three sisters are all
successful philanthropists, Ray Hunt inherited
Hunt Oil and expanded it into real estate
developments including ReUnion Tower and the
Hyatt Hotel in downtown Dallas.
Today the Dallas social and business landscape includes dozens of
third generation Hunt descendants with names like
Hill, Washburne, Sands, Summers,
Wikert, and Wisenbacker.
It is interesting to
note that while he officed a short time in downtown
Dallas, H.L. Hunt was customarily seen bringing a
sack lunch with him most days. Thinking that he was such
a miser that he would refuse to spend money in the local
restaurants, it was surprising to those who didn't know
him, that the reason was not because of money, but a
strict diet on which his doctor prescribed - food which
wasn't available at any restaurant in downtown Dallas at
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Amon Carter Family of Fort Worth
Giles Amon Carter, but changed his name
as an adult to Amon G. Carter. He was a skilled salesman who moved to Ft.
Worth when hired by one of the local newspapers. In 1908,
his paper purchased
the rival Fort Worth Star Telegram, and Carter became its
editor and publisher. The company signed on WBAP,
the first radio station in Fort Worth, and WBAP-TV
the state’s first television station.
convinced Southern Air Transport, known now as American
Airlines, to move to
Fort Worth from Dallas.
Most will agree that it was his undying contempt for
Dallas. It was said, Carter
would take a sack lunch
whenever he traveled to Dallas so he wouldn't have to
spend any money there.
He married three
times; first to Zetta Thomas Carter, with whom he
had a daughter (Bertice Carter), then to Nenetta Burton Carter,
with whom he had a son (Amon Gary Carter, Jr.)
and a second daughter (Ruth Carter), and
eight years before he died, he remarried a third time to
Minnie Meacham Carter, the daughter of
Henry Clay Meacham, a prominent department store
owner and former Mayor of Ft. Worth.
Carter Foundation in
1945. He died in 1955, of heart failure and his will stipulated that a
museum to house his collection be established by the
foundation, leaving the details to his daughter Ruth
Carter Stevenson (b. 1923-) and son Amon Carter Jr.
Amon’s renown collection of paintings and sculptures
Frederic Remington and
Charles Russell is on display at the world
Amon Carter Museum, in Fort Worth.
Carter Jr. continued to lead the newspaper, radio, and
television empire. Carter Jr. served time in a WWII
prison camp and befriended a YMCA volunteer. In later
years, the Carter family championed the Fort Worth YMCA
and the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Downtown YMCA building was named for him after his death.
Carter Stevenson has led the development of the Amon
Carter Museum including asking acclaimed architect
Philip Johnson to design it. She remains on the
board of the
For more information about Amon Carter, Minnie
Meacham Carter, and Henry Clay Meacham,
Carter-Meacham Family Papers, housed at the
University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), and
Texas Christian University's (TCU) main
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Trammell Crow Family of Dallas
F. Trammell Crow (1914-2009) was a Dallas based
real estate developer who created several projects,
Dallas Market Center,
San Francisco's Embarcadero Center, and
Atlanta’s Peachtree Center . His father,
Jefferson Crow, worked for Collett Munger –
one of Dallas' early real estate developers.
married his wife Margaret
Doggett Crow in 1942
while stationed with the Navy in Orange, Texas, and they
remained married for 66 years. They had six children:
Lucy Billingsley, Harlan Crow, Howard Crow,
Stuart Crow, and Trammell S. Crow.
Crow developed his first building in 1948. He
pioneered ‘building on spec’. His also worked with
another pioneer Dallas developer, John Stemmons
in pioneering construction along the Trinity River
and the Stemmons Freeway, now Interstate
the 1970’s he was described as one the nations biggest
commercial real estate developers with ownership in
hundreds of million of square feet of space nationwide.
His 50 story plus skyscrapers and 5 star hotels tower
over cities across the U.S.
and his wife had a life-long love of Asian art,
culminating in the
Trammell & Margaret Crow
Collection of Asian Art Center in the heart of the
new Dallas Arts District.
His children have carried on his legacy becoming powerful
real estate developers in their own right as well as
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More Families to Come