Greg Abbott – Biography

Gregory Wayne Abbott was born on November 13, 1957. He is an American politician and lawyer . Governor Greg Abbott who has served as Texas’ 48th governor since 2015. He was the Republican Party’s 50th Attorney General of Texas, serving from 2002 until 2015.

Greg Abbott - Biography
Greg Abbott

Abbott was elected governor of Texas in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with 59 percent of the vote in both elections.

Since Reconstruction, Abbott was the third Republican to serve as Attorney General of Texas. In 2002, he received 57 percent of the vote for Attorney General, was re-elected with 60 percent in 2006, and 64 percent in 2010.

Abbott was a justice of the Texas Supreme Court before becoming attorney general, a position he was nominated to by then-governor George W. Bush in 1995.

Greg Abbott

Abbott received 60 percent of the vote in 1998 to win a full term. In the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case Van Orden v. Perry, he successfully argued for the Ten Commandments to be displayed in the Texas State Capitol, while he unsuccessfully supported the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

He was involved in several cases against President Barack Obama’s administration, attempting to have the Affordable Care Act and the administration’s environmental rules declared unconstitutional.

Abbott backed Donald Trump’s administration as governor. He signed anti-abortion and anti-immigration legislation into law. Abbott was criticized during his governorship for his handling of a February 2021 North American winter storm that knocked out power to four million Texas households.

Abbott’s strategy for dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic has been divisive. Abbott has maintained a hands-off approach to COVID-19 public health safeguards during the outbreak. He implemented one of the country’s shortest stay-at-home orders in 2020.

Greg Abbott

Abbott put restrictions on municipal governments in Texas during the pandemic to prevent them from enacting face mask laws and other public health measures.

Abbott barred companies and other institutions from requiring customers to show proof of vaccine once the COVID-19 vaccine became publicly available.

Greg Abbott – Early Life

Gregory Wayne Abbott was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on November 13, 1957, to English parents. His mother, Doris Lechristia Jacks Abbott, was a stay-at-home wife, while his father, Calvin Rodger Abbott, was a stockbroker and insurance agent.

Greg Abbott

They migrated to Longview when he was six years old, and the family stayed there for six years.

Abbott’s family relocated to Duncanville at the start of junior high school. His father died of a heart attack during his sophomore year of high school, and his mother went to work in a real estate agency. He is a Duncanville High School alumni.

 He was a member of the high school track squad. He was a member of the National Honor Society and his peers selected him “Most Likely to Succeed.”

He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas in Austin in 1981, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Young Republicans Club. He met his wife, Cecilia Phelan, at UT Austin. 

Greg Abbott

He graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, Tennessee, with a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.

Abbott was paralyzed below the waist in an accident when an oak tree fell on him while jogging following a storm on July 14, 1984, when he was 26 years old. He had two steel rods placed in his spine, underwent lengthy rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, and has since been confined to a wheelchair.

He sued the homeowner and a tree service company and obtained an insurance settlement that includes lump sum payments every three years until 2022 and monthly payments for the rest of his life, both of which are adjusted “to keep up with the rising cost of living.” In August 2013, the monthly payout was $14,000.

Greg Abbott

Abbott claimed he had relied on the funds for nearly three decades to assist him to pay for medical bills and other expenses. Between 1984 to 1992, Abbott worked for Butler and Binion, LLP in private practice.

Greg Abbott – Judicial career

Abbott began his judicial career in Houston, where he worked for three years as a state trial judge in the 129th District Court. Governor George W. Bush named Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court at the time, and he was elected to the state’s highest civil court twice: in 1996 (for a two-year term) and 1998  (six-year term).

Abbott faced Libertarian John B. Hawley of Dallas in 1996, even though he had no Democratic opponent. Abbott won by an 84 percent to 16 percent margin over Hawley. Abbott defeated Democrat David Van Os by a margin of 60% to 40% in 1998.

Greg Abbott

Abbott returned to private practice in 2001 after resigning from the Supreme Court. He worked for Bracewell & Giuliani LLC.

He also taught at the University of Texas School of Law as an adjunct professor.

Greg Abbott – Personal Life

Cecilia Phalen Abbott is Greg Abbott’s wife. She is a Mexican immigrant’s granddaughter.  In 1981, they married in San Antonio. With his election as governor of Texas, she became the first Latina First Lady of Texas since the state’s admission to the union.

Audrey, their adoptive daughter, is their only child. Cecilia has previously worked as a teacher and a principal.

Greg Abbott

After Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York (1929–1932) and George Wallace of Alabama (1963–1967, 1971–1979; 1983–1987), he is the third elected governor of a US state to use a wheelchair. Abbott was jogging on July 14, 1984, when a tree collapsed on his back and crushed his spine.

Abbott was also unable to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention owing to second-and third-degree burns on his legs sustained while on vacation in Wyoming in July 2016.

Greg Abbott – Electoral History

Abbott defeated Wendy Davis by 21 points in the Texas gubernatorial general election on November 4, 2014. According to exit polls, he earned 44% of the Hispanic vote and 50% of Hispanic men’s votes, a majority (54%) of female voters, and 62% of married women’s votes, and 75% of women in Texas are married.

Greg Abbott

Abbott stated Carlos Cascos of Brownsville, the county judge of Cameron County in far South Texas since 2007, would become the secretary of state of Texas a week following his election.

Greg Abbott – Opposition to same-sex marriage

Abbott defended the state’s ban on same-sex marriage against a constitutional challenge as Attorney General. He argued in court in 2014 that Texas should be allowed to restrict same-sex marriage because LGBT people are unable to reproduce.

Because “same-sex couples do not normally generate children,” he argues, “recognizing same-sex marriage does not serve these goals to the same extent as recognizing opposite-sex marriage.”

Greg Abbott

He also asserted that gay people have the same right to marry as anybody else, arguing that they are “as free to marry an opposite-sex partner as anyone else.”

“Any conduct that has been traditionally outlawed can become a constitutional right simply by reframing it at a higher level of abstraction,” he said, implying that same-sex marriage was a dangerous slope.

Governor Greg Abbott, who was awarded the “Best Governor in the Nation” in 2020, is continuing to build on his reputation as a strong conservative leader who works to protect Texas values and ensure that the Lone Star State remains the best place to raise a family, start a business, and expand opportunity for all.

Governor Abbott’s vision for a stronger Texas in the future is centered on creating more jobs and economic opportunities, improving our schools and education system, safeguarding individual liberties, and securing the Texas border in the face of federal inaction.

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Greg Abbott - Biography
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Greg Abbott - Biography
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Gregory Wayne Abbott was born on November 13, 1957. He is an American politician and lawyer who has served as Texas' 48th governor since 2015. He was the Republican Party's 50th Attorney General of Texas, serving from 2002 until 2015.
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2 thoughts on “Greg Abbott – Biography”

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