Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All

State buildings, homes to TDI, named after Texans Bill Hobby, Barbara Jordan

This year, the Texas Department of Insurance moves from the William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building in downtown Austin to the new Barbara Jordan State Office Building just north of the Capitol. Learn about the buildings’ namesakes, Hobby and Jordan, below.

Bill Hobby

William P. Hobby, Jr.William P. Hobby, Jr., the state’s longest-serving lieutenant governor, grew up with exemplars of public service. His father had been a Texas lieutenant governor and governor. His mother became the nation’s first U.S. secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Hobby, a 1953 graduate of Rice University, spent four years in the U.S. Navy before helping to steer his family-owned newspaper, The Houston Post. He gained familiarity with state government by working as the parliamentarian of the Texas Senate in 1959. Hobby went on to serve on the board of regents for the University of Houston and Texas Air Control Board.

Voters first elected Hobby lieutenant governor in 1972. Reelected four times, Hobby took pride in improving programs for public and higher education, mental health, water conservation, fiscal management, indigent health care, prisons, and public assistance. He did not seek reelection in 1990.

In 1991, the board of the Texas General Services Commission named a cluster of state-purchased buildings on the 300 block of Guadalupe after Hobby.

More: Biographical sketch (PDF), Bill Hobby, Texas Legislative Reference Library, undated (accessed June 9, 2022)


How I Became Lieutenant Governor,” Bill Hobby, The Texas Tribune, Sept. 3, 2010

Barbara Jordan

Barbara JordanBarbara Jordan, the first black Texas woman to serve in the Texas Senate and U.S. House, grew up in Houston. She graduated magna cum laude from Texas Southern University and earned a law degree from Boston University.

Jordan twice ran unsuccessfully across Harris County for the Texas House before lawmakers were required to draw population-proportional single-member districts. In 1966, voters elected Jordan to the Texas Senate. She stayed in the 31-member body until voters sent her to Congress in 1972.

Jordan’s stature as a renowned orator gained momentum in 1974 with her opening statement in televised hearings on the Watergate scandal. She said that night: “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.”

After Jordan left the House in 1979, she taught at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. In the 1990s, she served as ethics “czar” for Gov. Ann Richards. “Ethical behavior,” Jordan said, “means being honest, telling the truth, and doing what you said you would do.” On her death in 1996, she was buried near Stephen F. Austin at the Texas State Cemetery. She was its first black occupant.

The 2021 Texas Legislature directed the Texas Facilities Commission to name the state office building being built on the east side of North Congress Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets after Jordan.

More: Barbara Charline Jordan entry in the Handbook of Texas


“Barbara Jordan, Speaking the Truth With Eloquent Thunder,” edited by Max Sherman, University of Texas Press, 2007

“Barbara Jordan, American Hero,” Mary Beth Rogers, Bantam Books, 1998


Photos courtesy of Texas Senate Media Services.

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 6/23/2022