Mary Jane Bode
Mary Jane Bode was born in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. She studied at the University of Houston. She worked as a journalist for many years, including several years for the Austin American-Statesman and for a decade as a Capitol correspondent for Long News Service (run by Emma Long’s husband Stuart).
In 1968 she ran for a seat in the House for the first time under the slogan “We need a woman in the House,” but she lost the election. She then worked as a press secretary for Attorney General John Hill. In 1977, when there was a special election to fill Sarah Weddington’s vacated seat, Bode ran again and won by only 66 votes. She won another full term in 1978. In 1980 her district changed, and the GOP swept many seats, including Bode’s.
While in office, Bode was dedicated to helping the disabled, public employees, and children. She helped pass a school finance package, helped create a separate probate court for juveniles, and worked on the Driver’s License Code. She served on the Transportation Committee and supported the development of a rapid rail transit system in Austin.
After her time in office, she returned to her journalism career, working in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Del Rio. She died in 1998 near Chicago and is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
[Mary Jane Bode in the House], circa 1980, PICB 18891