Prints and Photographs Collection
This undated photo was probably taken during Connally's tenure as Secretary of the Navy in 1961. He was elected governor the following year.
During World War II, Connally had attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy. As a fighter director aboard aircraft carriers, he went through nine major air-sea battles in the Pacific, including 52 hours of continuous Japanese kamikaze attacks on the USS Essex in April 1945.
After the war, Connally quickly built a reputation as a political mastermind, working on behalf of Lyndon Johnson in his campaigns and in LBJ's fight for control of the Texas Democratic party. During the 1950s, Connally also served as legal counsel to Fort Worth oilman Sid Richardson. His motto was, "Fight hard and rough, but when the battle is over, forget and dismiss."