Notes and Documents
The History of Texas Business:
A Selected Bibliography
LARRY S. MILNER*
TEXAS IS NOW THE SECOND MOST POPULATED AMONG THE FIFTY
states, having surpassed New York in 1994. And in the twenty-first
century, Texas businesses should lead America by growing faster than
the national economy, according to State Comptroller of Public Ac-
counts John Sharp. In his study entitled Forces of Change: Shaping the Fu-
ture of Texas, Sharp projects, "Through 2026, Texas economic growth is
expected to average 2.7 percent per year, compared to a national
growth rate of 2.2 percent. Because of its ability to attract industry and
workers from other parts of the country, Texas [business] will grow and
outperform the national economy." Since Texas is such a large compo-
nent of the United States' productive output, careful analysis of how,
when, and why its business developed is of national significance.
The history of Texas business needs to be explored further. Many top-
ical works exist about specific companies or industries, but a history of
the state's combined cross-industry development is lacking. Hero-wor-
shipping biographies, romanticized and self-serving case histories, and
vitriolic exposes are plentiful, but no carefully documented overview of
the state's businesses exists. Narratives about the people who have creat-
ed and sustained the Texas business economy are also needed. Few aca-
demic works describe the contributions of business to society, and even
fewer identify "key players" in business responsible for the state's suc-
cess. Absent, in particular, are accounts of business leaders since 1945.
* Larry S. Milner is a longtime association and chamber of commerce executive presently
working as an international consultant with recent assignments in Egypt and Russia. He is a for-
mer president and CEO of the Texas Chamber of Commerce. He has also been president of the
Amarillo chamber of commerce, a corporate vice president for a Fortune 500 company, and a
congressional candidate. He received a B.A. in government from the University of Texas in 1967
and an M.A. in history from Southwest Texas State University in 1995.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed July 30, 2014.