Farenthold, Frances “Sissy” Tarlton (1926-)

Frances “Sissy” Tarlton Farenthold, legislator and activist, daughter of Benjamin Dudley and Catherine Bluntzer Tarlton, was born on October 2, 1926. She graduated from Vassar College in 1946 and received her J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in 1949, one of 3 female students in a class of 800. Her years of working in the legal profession gave her a close-up view of poverty and other social problems. These experiences shaped her beliefs and compelled her to enter politics.

In 1968 Farenthold was elected to the Texas legislature despite taking a bold pro-choice stance on abortion in the conservative climate of Texas. She served until 1972, when she unsuccessfully ran for governor of Texas. She was a forceful advocate for the attainment of gender ...

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