De la Garza, E. (Eligio), 1927-2017

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Eligio "Kika" de la Garza II (September 22, 1927 – March 13, 2017) was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative for the 15th congressional district of Texas from January 3, 1965, to January 3, 1997.

Born in Mercedes, Texas and raised in Mission, Texas, he graduated from Mission High School before serving in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He continued his education at Edinburg Junior College and the U.S. Army Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. From 1950 to 1952, de la Garza served in the U.S. Army, fighting in the Korean War as a second lieutenant with the 37th Division Artillery. He earned a law degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio after he was discharged from the army. De la Garza began his political career after he returned from his army service in Korea, winning election to the Texas house of representatives in 1951, serving in that body from 1952 to 1964 while working as a lawyer in the Rio Grande Valley.

In 1964, de la Garza, a strong supporter of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, ran for United States House of Representatives and won a seat representing South Texas. From 1981 to 1994, he was the chairman of the Agriculture Committee, leading the way in passing bills that reorganized the agricultural lending system, the farm insurance system, the United States Department of Agriculture, and pesticide laws. De la Garza voted in favor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and called for smoother relations between the U.S. and Mexico. He worked to improve trade between the two nations and was critical in passing the legislation that enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

De la Garza retired from public service in 1997. He resided in McAllen, Texas until his death from kidney failure. He is buried at the Valley Memorial Gardens in McAllen, Texas.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards. 1893 - 2008. Video Recordings Documenting the Activities and Meetings of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. 2/10/1994 - 12/14/1994. Hearing coverage, ninth meeting, final
referencedIn Lucio, Eddie, Jr., 1946-. Oral history interview with Eddie Lucio, Jr., 2003 [videorecording]. University of Texas at Arlington, Central Library
creatorOf Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards. 1893 - 2008. Video Recordings Documenting the Activities and Meetings of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. 2/10/1994 - 12/14/1994. Hearing. No. 4, Fourth meeting
creatorOf Carl Bert Albert Congressional papers, 1910-1998, bulk 1946-1998. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn The Robert "Bob" Freeman Smith papers, 1983-1994 Willamette University Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf Eligio (Kika) de la Garza Congressional Papers The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
referencedIn Hinojosa, Juan Chuy, 1946-. Oral history interview with Juan Chuy Hinojosa 2003 [videorecording]. University of Texas at Arlington, Central Library
creatorOf Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards. 1893 - 2008. Video Recordings Documenting the Activities and Meetings of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. 2/10/1994 - 12/14/1994. Hearing. No. 3, Third meeting, public hearing
referencedIn John J. Herrera Papers MSS 0160., 1940-1980 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Libary
creatorOf Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards. 1893 - 2008. Video Recordings Documenting the Activities and Meetings of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. 2/10/1994 - 12/14/1994. Hearing. No. 2, Second meeting
referencedIn Biography -- Garza, Kika de la. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Collection AR406., ca. 1849-1990, 1920s-1970s Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Albert, Carl Bert, 1908-2000. person
correspondedWith Herrera, John J. person
associatedWith Hinojosa, Juan Chuy, 1946- person
associatedWith Lucio, Eddie, Jr., 1946- person
associatedWith Smith, Robert Bob Freeman person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Tex.). School of Law corporateBody
memberOf Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives corporateBody
almaMaterOf The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley corporateBody
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
almaMaterOf United States. Army. Field Artillery School (Fort Sill, Oklahoma) corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
memberOf United States. Navy corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Fort Sill OK US
Mission TX US
Mercedes TX US
Edinburg TX US
McAllen TX US
San Antonio TX US
Subject
Occupation
Lawyers
State Representative
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Texas
Army officers
Seamen
Activity

Person

Birth 1927-09-22

Death 2017-03-13

Male

Americans

English

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