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The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr.

Attorney Anthony William Hall, Jr. was born on September 16, 1944 in Houston, Texas to Quintanna Wilson Hall Alliniece and Anthony William Hall, Sr. Hall received his B.A. degree from Howard University in 1967, and served in the military from 1967 to 1971. While in the military, Hall attained the rank of captain and received the Purple Heart as well as three Bronze Stars. After his military service, Hall worked for the Harris County Commissions Office in 1971 and served as a State Representative from 1972 until 1979, when he was first elected to the Houston City Council. Upon his appointment, Hall was the third African American, after Judson W. Robinson, Jr. and Ernest McGowen, to be elected to the city council in Houston.

Hall obtained his J.D. degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in 1982.
In 1990, he became the first African American chairman of the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority, an agency which was created as a response to the public’s desire to have an efficient and reliable transportation system that would replace the existing malfunctioning busing system. During this time, Hall also became one of only three African Americans among the 50 partners in the Houston law firm, Jackson Walker, LLP. The firm, which has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo and San Antonio, represents clients in litigation for intellectual property, health care, labor and employment, technology, bankruptcy and numerous other fields. Hall served as the City Attorney for the City of Houston from 1998 until 2004, when he became the Chief Administrative Officer for the city. Hall’s key responsibilities included implementing some of the Administration’s significant priorities, participating in the budget process, and overseeing the Houston community’s safety issues.

Hall is also the Chairman of the Boulé Foundation and is involved with Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, serving as the past national president of the organization, and is currently on the board of trustees. He has devoted many years of his life to public service and has been given several awards for outstanding civic work. These awards include the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program’s Heart of Houston, the Black Achiever Award from the YMCA, the George “Mickey” Leland Community Service Award from the Barbara Jordan—Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in 2006, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Marks of Excellence Award for Public Service Leadership in 2009. After years of public service, Hall returned to private practice law in the city of Houston in 2010.

Anthony Hall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 9, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.229

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/9/2007 |and| 5/6/2014

Last Name

Hall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Schools

Texas Southern University

Marshall Education Center

Miller Intermediate

Jack Yates High School

Howard University

First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

HAL11

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Barbados

Favorite Quote

Simply Achieve.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/16/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (Seafood)

Short Description

City attorney and city council member The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. (1944 - ) was the third African American man to be elected to the city council in Houston, Texas. He was the first black and minority chairman of Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority, served as city attorney from 1998 to 2004 and was the chief administrative officer for the city.

Employment

Law Office of Anthony W. Hall, Jr.

City of Houston

Jackson & Walker

Williamson, Gardner, Hall & Wiesenthal

Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his mother's early education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls how his parents met and their personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers his community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the ward boundaries in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the segregated education system in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his grade school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his college selection process

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers his high school community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about the Reserve Officers' Training Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls majoring in economics at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers being wounded in the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the start of his political career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about the end of the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls serving in the Texas Legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. explains his decision to attend law school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about African Americans' role in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the progressive movement in Houston's politics

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers serving on the Houston City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about chairing the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls Republican politicians in Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about mayoral races in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls serving as Houston's city attorney

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his career in management

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his role as chief administrative officer of Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his membership in Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. lists his favorites, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his stepfather

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers his relationship with his stepfather

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his stepfather's family background

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his mother's family history

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his maternal grandparents

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his maternal family in Cedar Lake, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his mother's education in Houston, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers the values of his maternal family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his father's military career

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his father's law enforcement career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the history of Houston's police organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his childhood personality

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers living in Angleton, Texas with his mother

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his childhood in Brazoria County, Texas

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of Brazoria County, Texas

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his family farm

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls institutions in his Houston community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers black professionals in Houston, Texas

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about the Sweatt v. Painter case

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers Charles Hamilton Houston

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his education in Houston, Texas

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his aspirations for a career in science

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about black professionals in Houston, Texas

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls African American politicians in the 1960s

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes Jesse H. Jones

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls the contributions of Jesse H. Jones

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. describes his high school activities

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls Greater Zion Baptist Church

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his extracurricular activities in adolescence

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. remembers Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about being the chief administrative officer of Houston

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his accomplishments in Houston city government

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about his charitable work

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. talks about chairing the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
The Honorable Anthony W. Hall, Jr. recalls his role as chief administrative officer of Houston, Texas
Transcript
Tell us about becoming the chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority [Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County]. This is 1990, right?$$Yes. I was leaving city council [Houston City Council], and, and Kathy Whitmire [Kathryn J. Whitmire] asked me if I would--we were in the middle of--as we continue 'til this day to be debating--the middle of very intense debate about development of the rail system in Houston [Texas]. We have a very unique challenge, in that Houston is almost seven hundred square miles geographically, and has a lower population density than traditional East Coast cities and some West Coast cities, and has made public transportation a continuing challenge for us, but we recognize in 2007 that we, based on the growth projections for the next twenty years, which we will double, that we cannot build highways large enough to accommodate that kind of growth. There would be nothing but highways that we've got to find alternative means to move people around, to move goods around in this community. We have long had a monumental community battle about the institution of rail, and there is a whole debating story in history behind that. I am a big advocate for rail. We ought to have it, we've got to have it if we are to prosper, and if we are to, to help our citizens not spend two, three hours a day in their cars, on the freeways trying to get [to] work, home, and that kind of thing. And that debate sort of crescendoed in 1990. She asked me if I would share the authority because we had a big battle between local developers primarily, and their supporters in [U.S.] Congress. Unfortunately, Tom DeLay was on the transportation committee. He was a senior person, and he prohibited us from getting federal assistance for rail in Houston, as a member of the local delegation, while at the same time approving it for other communities. Seems sort of weird today, but that's what happened. Fortunately, we have had the voters, for now the third time, approved rail and we, I hope, are on our way to beginning to have the first expansion of the first seven mile system that Lee Brown [HistoryMaker Lee P. Brown] built, and I might say was built entirely with local money, and Lee Brown, while mayor, had the first seven miles, so the rail system that you see in the center of downtown that runs out to the Astrodome [NRG Astrodome, Houston, Texas]--a little bit better than seven miles, we have now approved a significant expansion of that now out and through the communities that is supposed to be accomplished over the next fifteen years or so, so--$$Okay.$$But those were the issues; those issues really continue to be debated until this day.$Let me ask you, what haven't I asked you about this job that you can tell me and how do you see this as a fit for you? I guess that's--$$Well, I think this job has been kind of natural. I served as city attorney for six years and I have had--I served in the legislature [Texas Legislature], served on city council [Houston City Council], so I think I come more uniquely qualified than anybody that's ever had it before. I happen to be the first black there that has this job but administration of a city government is something that almost everything I have done in the past has prepared me to do, so I find it exciting. We're doing a lot of new and different things. I have grown and learned in the job because I have been forced to deal with issues that I hadn't spent much time in before, particularly related to finance, and financial-related issues like pension and healthcare benefits and the intricacies of that, that I had never been particularly involved in before, I have had to become, quote, expert in. So, it's been exciting. It's been a good thing.$$Is there any particular project that, that you really would like to complete before your (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes. One of the principal initiatives of the White [Bill White] administration is the reclamation of inner--some inner city neighborhoods that have been for--now forty years, fifty years--more or less written off. They were written off because the average tax delinquency of the houses in the community is about nine, ten years tax delinquent, many of them unoccupied, many of them need to be torn down; no, no economic activity in the neighborhoods, obviously, nobody moving in. We have an initiative that we call Houston HOPE that it started out with six neighborhoods--inner city neighborhoods disbursed around the city that meet this criterion I just described. It is our plan and hope, by the end of this administration, to have built five thousand assisted affordable housing units in those neighborhoods, to have completely rebuilt the infrastructure in those neighborhoods. And by affordable, we don't mean poverty housing; we're talking about housing that in the main would be marketed for $130-140,000, but we are offering as much as $30,000 in down payment assistance, we're offering land assemblage concessions to the community development corporations to build those houses. I believe when we finish, and I think we will succeed, that that will be the impetus, because we can see it happening already, to private housing development in those neighborhoods, so that we will be the best example in America of how you reclaim inner cities in an inner city community with inner city communities like Houston [Texas]. That is called Houston HOPE, and I believe that we will show the nation how to do that.