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George Herman Mahon (September 22, 1900 - November 19, 1985) was a Texasmarker politician who served twenty-two consecutive terms (1935-1979) as a member of the United States House of Representatives from the Lubbockmarker-based 19th congressional district.

His legacies include the development of federal farm programs, the establishment of the former Reese Air Force Basemarker in Lubbock and Webb Air Force Basemarker in Big Springmarker, leadership in the development of Interstate 27, a short connection between Amarillomarker and Lubbock, and disaster relief during droughts and tornadoes common to West Texas.

Mahon was born to John Kirkpatrick Mahon and the former Lola Willis in the Mahon community near Haynesvillemarker in Claiborne Parishmarker in far northern Louisianamarker. In 1908, Mahon's family moved to Lorainemarker in Mitchell Countymarker, Texas, where young George graduated from Loraine High School. In 1924, he received his bachelor's degree from Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilenemarker. While in college he married the former Helen Stephenson, and they had one daughter. Mahon graduated from the University of Texasmarker Law School in 1925. He joined a friend, Charlie Thompson, in the opening of a law firm in Colorado Citymarker. He was elected county attorney for Mitchell County, Texasmarker in 1926. Thereafter, Governor Dan Moody named Mahon district attorney of the thirty-second judicial district of Texas, a position which he held from 1927 to 1933, having been elected once after the initial gubernatorial appointment.

The George and Helen Mahon Library in downtown Lubbock

George Mahon Park in Lubbock

Mahon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1934 as a Democrat. He defeated Clark Millican of Lubbock in the runoff primary for the seat. Lubbock residents, including Charles A. Guy, the editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal urged that the seat go to a Lubbock resident – Millican – because Lubbock is the largest city in the district. Rural areas, however, coalesced behind Mahon. Once in office, Mahon cemented his hold on Lubbock as well as the whole district and rarely had opposition in his reelection campaigns. In its 2008 centennial, the Avalanche-Journal declared Mahon the most influential figure in Lubbock's 20th century history.

Mahon was a delegate to each Democratic National Convention from 1936 to 1964. He was the chairman of the Appropriations Committee from 1964 until his retirement from the House in 1979. Known for his personal frugality, Mahon often clashed with presidents of both parties who he determined wanted to spend more money than the treasury could afford. Early in his congressional tenure, Mahon served on the committee that developed the Manhattan Project.

After his years in the House, Mahon stayed in Washington to work with the Smithsonianmarker. He served as a regent of the Smithsonian Institution from 1964-1978.

Mahon died in San Angelomarker of complications from knee surgery. He is interred at the Loraine City Cemetery in Lorainemarker inMitchell County alongside Mrs. Mahon, who died in 1987.


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