Texas Originals: Amon G. Carter

AMON G. CARTER
December 11, 1879–June 23, 1955

People come from around the world to view the collection of American art in Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum.  Works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, acquired by Carter, form the heart of the collection.  Carter didn’t live to see his grand museum, but he didn’t build it for himself.  He built it for his fellow citizens, especially those in his beloved city of Fort Worth.

Carter was born in 1879 in tiny Crafton, Texas, near Wichita Falls.  After arriving in Forth Worth at age 25, Carter quickly made his mark.  As advertising manager of the Fort Worth Star newspaper, Carter talked investors into buying the more established Fort Worth Telegram and merging the two papers.  The newly-formed Fort Worth Star-Telegram dominated the region.

Carter went on to drill for oil and invest in radio, television, and aviation.  He tirelessly promoted Fort Worth and worked to bring industry to the city.  Carter also shared his wealth.  Every Christmas, he anonymously gave each resident of Fort Worth’s orphanages and senior homes an envelope with a crisp, new five-dollar bill.

Carter died in 1955.  His will contained instructions for building his art museum on a hill looking toward downtown Fort Worth.  He once said, “As a youth, I was denied the advantages which go with the possession of money.”  The museum, which charges no admission fee, was his final way of giving others an opportunity he himself never had.

Amon Carter Museum

Sources

Amon Carter Museum. “About the Museum.” http://www.cartermuseum.org/about/museum-history
Flemmons, Jerry. Amon: The Texan Who Played Cowboy for America. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1998.
“Mr. Fort Worth.” Time, July 4, 1955. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,807286,00.html
Procter, Ben H. “Carter, Amon G., Sr.” Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/fca69.html

This episode firs aired May 26, 2012.

 

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