TOWER, John Goodwin (1925-1991)

TOWER, JOHN GOODWIN, a Senator from Texas; born in Houston, Harris County, Tex., September 29, 1925; educated in the public schools of Houston and Beaumont, Tex.; enlisted in the Navy during the Second World War in 1943, saw action in the Pacific, and was discharged with the rank of seaman first class in 1946; graduated from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex., 1948, and with a graduate degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Tex., 1953; attended London School of Economics and Political Science; member of the faculty of Midwestern University, Wichita Falls, Tex., 1951-1960; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, May 27, 1961, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Lyndon B. Johnson for the term ending January 3, 1967; reelected in 1966, 1972 and 1978 and served from June 15, 1961, to January 3, 1985; did not seek reelection; chairman, Republican Policy Committee (Ninety-third through Ninety-eighth Congresses), Committee on Armed Services (Ninety-seventh and Ninety-eighth Congresses); appointed a member of the United States arms negotiation team in Geneva, Switzerland, by President Ronald Reagan 1985; chairman, President's Special Review Board ("Tower Commission") 1987; appointed Secretary of Defense in 1989 by President George Bush but not confirmed; chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board 1989; was a resident of Dallas, Tex., until his death in a plane crash near Brunswick, Ga., April 5, 1991; interment in Hillcrest Mausoleum, Dallas, Tex.

Bowling Green State University Library
Center for Archival Collections
Bowling Green, OH
Papers: Copy of Senator Tower's Labor Law reform.

Broadcast Pioneers Library
University of Maryland Hornbake Library
College Park, MD
Papers: 17 audiotapes (1961-1975) in Westinghouse Broadcasting Company collection, 1945-1981.

Gerald R. Ford Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 1974-1977. Correspondence and briefing papers. Finding aid.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: August 8, 1971 (24 pages); September 22, 1971 (9 pages); and November 1, 1971 (17 pages).

Sioux City Public Museum
Sioux City, IA
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas Barnett Huff papers, 1907-1968.

Southwestern University
Tower Library
Georgetown, TX
Papers: 1934-1991. 800 linear feet. Correspondence and papers, photographs, memorabilia, books, audiovisual materials relating to pre-Senate, Senate, and post-Senate careers. Senate material includes press files, legislation, correspondence, campaign/political, personal, casework, committees, staff files, personnel, patronage/ appointments/recommendations, projects, calendars, schedules, special events, and state office files. Records of the Tower Senate Club and Senate Republican Policy Committee, and material pertaining to defense, foreign relations and armed services issues are included. Pre-Senate material concerns Tower family history, academic endeavors, and 1960 Republican party activities. Post-Senate materials relate to his autobiography, Consequences, books he was planning to write, and nomination as secretary of defense. Finding aid. Partial restrictions.
Additional Papers: Materials for his book, Two Party Texas: The John Tower Era 1961-1984 in the John Knaggs papers, 1961-1985.
Papers: The John G. Tower Online Digital Media Collection. 1963-1992. Selected video, film, and audio clips including weekly radio shows, and interviews to radio and television stations. The streaming audio, video, and film document events such as the moon landing, Vietnam, energy, civil rights, gun control, environmental issues, arms control, and defense spending, Tower's introduction of Barry Goldwater at the 1984 Republican convention, and his conversations with Richard Nixon on busing.


University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in George Francis Lemble papers, 1958-1968. Finding aid.

  • Ambler, R. "Senator John G. Tower: A Republican's Dissent to the Civil Rights Act of 1964." The Journal of Southern Legal History 21 (2013): 109-156.
  • Green, George N., and John J. Kushma. "John Tower.'' In Profiles in Power: Twentieth-Century Texans in Washington, edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., and Michael L. Collins. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1993.
  • King, James D., and James W. Riddlesperger, Jr. "The Rejection of a Cabinet Nomination: The Senate and John Tower." In Bose, Meena and Rosanna Perotti, eds., From Cold War to New World Order: The Foreign Policy of George H.W. Bush. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002): 369-90.
  • Knaggs, John R. Two-Party Texas: The John Tower Era, 1961-1984. Austin: Eakin Press, 1985.
  • Swint, Kerwin C. "In this Corner, Little Lord Fauntleroy," in Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006: 101-111.
  • Tower, John G. "Congress Versus the President: The Formulation and Implementation of American Foreign Policy.'' Foreign Affairs 60 (Winter 1981-1982): 229-46.
  • ___. Consequences: A Personal and Political Memoir. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1991.
  • ___. "The Conservative Worker in Britain: Why a Working Man Supports the Tories." Master's thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1934.
  • ___. "F.E.P.C.--Some Practical Considerations.'' Federal Bar Journal 24 (Winter 1964): 87-92.
  • ___. "Present Defense Budget Problems.'' In The Defense of America: From Assured Destruction to Assured Survival, edited by Albion Knight and David S. Sullivan, pp. 9-22. Houston: Texas Policy Institute, 1983.
  • ___. A Program for Conservatives. New York: Macfadden-Bartell Corp., 1962.
  • ___. "SALT II and the Security of the West.'' Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 2 (Summer 1979): 1-17.
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Memorial Tributes: John Goodwin Tower, 1925-1991, Late a Senator from Texas. 102d Cong., 2d sess., 1992. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1994.
  • ___. Tributes to the Honorable John Tower of Texas in the United States Senate, Upon the Occasion of His Retirement from the Senate. 98th Cong., 2d sess., 1984. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1984.
  • Welch, June Rayfield. "Tower Was the First Republican Senator Since Reconstruction.'' In The Texas Senator, pp. 148-49. Dallas: G.L.A. Press, 1978.