Ben Z. Grant

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Benjamin Z. Grant (né Benjamin Zane Grant; born 25 October 1939) is a former Texas legislator, state judge, and current author and playwright.


Texas Legislature

Grant, a Democrat, was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1971 to 1981, serving in the 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 65th, and 66th Legislature.

Judiciary of Texas

Grant was Judge of the 71st Judicial District of Texas from 1981 to 1985. Grant was Justice of the Court of Appeals, 6th Judicial District of Texas from 1985 to 2003.


Benjamin Z. Grant graduated with honors from Panola College in Carthage, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He later received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law January 1968. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas May 23 of that same year and is authorized to practice law in all Texas courts and various federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Career overview

Throughout his working career, Judge Grant has had a variety of occupations that range from shining shoes and working at a brick yard to serving as an adjunct faculty member at East Texas Baptist University. He also taught school for four years and was publisher and editor of a weekly newspaper. During law school, Grant worked for the General Land Office and Veterans Land Board, taught night school at Austin High School, and worked as an aide for Representative Cread L. Ray.

After Representative Ray decided not to seek reelection in 1970, Grant successfully ran in his place and represented District Three in the Texas House of Representatives from January 12, 1971 to January 8, 1981. During his first term, the Sixty-Second Legislature, Grant became a member of the "Dirty Thirty," a group of representatives who "grouped against... [several state] officials charged in a bribery-conspiracy investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission." Grant also served nine years as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

At the end of the Sixty-Sixth Legislature, Grant decided not to seek reelection – instead, he successfully campaigned for the judgeship of the Seventy-First Judicial District Court in Marshall. However, shortly after his reelection in 1984, Governor Mark White appointed him to the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana, on August 13, 1985. Judge Grant took his oath of office on August 21, 1985, and served seventeen years on that court. After retiring in January 2003, Judge Grant assumed the status of senior judge.

Throughout his career as a state official, Judge Grant has served as president of the Northeast Texas Bar Association and the State Bar Judicial Section Executive Committee. He also served six years as president of the Texas Judicial Council, has spoken at numerous judicial and legal conferences, has conducted legal conferences, and is listed in Who's Who in American Politics. He has had legal articles published in the Texas Bar Journal and Trial Lawyers Forum.

Judge Grant has been an active participant in his community. He has served as vice-president of the Harrison County Historical Museum Board, was a member of the executive board for the Texas State Historical Association, and has written a weekly column, "The History Around Us," for the Marshall News Messenger, since 1998. He has also served as president of the Marshall Lions Club and District Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America.

Grant sought the Democratic nomination for Texas Lieutenant Governor in 2006.[1]


Because of his extensive work in Marshall, Judge Grant has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. Common Cause of Texas recognized him for his uncommon talents and years of courageous public service. He was named one of the 100 outstanding leaders of Harrison County for the 20th Century, is listed on the Wall of Distinction of Harrison County, and received the Sallie McGee Lentz Award for Historical Publications.

Books and plays[edit]

In addition to his weekly column, Judge Grant has authored several books: The Last Dragon, a children's book; and two novels, The Wolf Has No Pillow and Troubles Walk North. He has also written or co-written numerous plays, such as The Kingfish, a play on the life of the late Huey P. Long, which was co-authored with Larry L. King and has been performed in numerous cities including the New Playwright Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the John Houseman Theatre in New York City. The play is published by the Southern Methodist University Press. His other plays are Came The Cajuns, From Hardscrabble, a two-act play set in rural East Texas, Evangeline's Song, The Sage of the Sabine – the Strife and Times of Isaac Van Zandt, and Roarin', Rantin' Rabbie. [2]


Grant has two children; he has a daughter, Brea Grant, who is a film a TV actress, and a son, Zane Grant, who is involved in film and TV production.