The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Royce West

Share on Social Media

Information about The Honorable Royce West

Profile image of The Honorable Royce West

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer
State Senator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gold, Purple
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
If It Is Going To Be, It Is Up To Me.

Birthplace

Born:
9/26/1952
Birth Location:
Annapolis, Maryland

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer
State Senator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gold, Purple
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
If It Is Going To Be, It Is Up To Me.

Birthplace

Born:
9/26/1952
Birth Location:
Annapolis
See how The Honorable Royce West is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Royce West has received numerous accolades as a politician in addition to his responsibilities as managing partner of a law firm. He was born on September 26, 1952 in Annapolis, Maryland. West attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he received his B.A. and his M.A. degrees in Sociology. While an undergraduate, West became the first African American to serve as president of the Student Congress, foreshadowing later events. He went on to receive his J.D. degree from the University of Houston in 1979 and worked in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office before joining the Dallas County District Attorney’s office where he became Texas’ first African American chief felony prosecutor. Following his time there, in 1994, West became a senior partner at the Dallas law firm Robinson, West, and Gooden.

Since 1993, West has represented Dallas County (District 23) in the Texas Senate. He won the Democratic primary the previous year against Jerald Larry and Jesse Oliver with over 57 percent of the votes. He has served on Senate committees including Education, Finance, Health and Human Services, and Criminal Justice; has served as chair of committees on Jurisprudence and Higher Education, and is the current Chair of Intergovernmental Relations. He has also been appointed to the Education Commission of the States in 2005, the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of the Council of State Governments in 2009, and the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council also in 2009. In 1994, West created the “One Community-One Child Program” to increase parental involvement in students’ academic careers. West furthered his law career by becoming managing partner of West & Associates, now a law firm of 11 attorneys in 1994. He was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in 2006 and during that period, served as Governor for a Day.

West has received Honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Paul Quinn College and Huston-Tillotson College in 1997 and 2000, respectively. In 2001, his alma mater, the University of Texas, recognized him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Texas Monthly Magazine named him of the “Ten Best Legislators in Texas” in 1999 and one of the “25 Most Powerful People in Texas Politics” in 2005. That same year, the Associated Press called him one of the “key players of the 2005 Legislature” in their “Movers and Shakers” list.

Royce West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 12, 2010.

See how The Honorable Royce West is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Royce West's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Royce West lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Royce West describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Royce West describes his relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Royce West describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his paternal grandparents' legacy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Royce West lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Royce West describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Royce West describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Royce West remembers Parole Elementary School in Annapolis, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Royce West describes his organizational involvement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his community in Annapolis, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Royce West describes his early personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his early aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Royce West remembers moving to Augsburg, Germany
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - The Honorable Royce West describes his experiences in Germany
  • Tape: 1 Story: 19 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his schooling in Germany
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Royce West recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Royce West remembers moving to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Royce West recalls Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Royce West describes his community in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Royce West recalls Pearl C. Anderson Junior High School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his academic interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his aspirations to become a lawyer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Royce West describes his reading habits
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Royce West recalls the influence of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Royce West remembers Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Royce West remembers Bishop College in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Royce West remembers the Highland Hills area of Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his experiences of discrimination at Wilmer-Hutchins High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his mentors at Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Royce West remembers applying for college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Royce West describes his experiences at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Royce West recalls playing football at the University of Texas at Arlington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his election as student body president
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his left handedness
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his part time employment at the General Motors Corporation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his influential professors
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his graduate studies in sociology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Royce West remembers the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Royce West remembers the bar examination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Royce West remembers passing the bar examination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Royce West remembers working with Tom Joyner
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Royce West recalls joining a motion to dismiss a racist jury, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Royce West recalls joining a motion to dismiss a racist jury, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his experiences of discrimination as the chief felony prosecutor of Dallas County, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Royce West remembers trying a murder case against a black minister
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his private law practice
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Royce West recalls the establishment of his law firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Royce West shares his advice to young lawyers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Royce West talks about his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his campaign for district attorney
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Royce West remembers his election to the Texas Senate
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his achievements as a state senator
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - The Honorable Royce West describes his juvenile justice initiatives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - The Honorable Royce West describes his elderly care initiatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Royce West reflects upon the demographic changes in Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Royce West talks about the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Royce West describes the One Community-One Child program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Royce West recalls his chairmanship of the Senate Interim Committee on Gangs and Juvenile Justice
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Royce West remembers Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Royce West talks about University of North Texas at Dallas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Royce West describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Royce West reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Royce West shares a message to future generations