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Houston Matters

Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan

In the 1920s, future Texas governor Dan Moody — then a 29-year-old district attorney — was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully take on and convict members of the Ku Klux Klan. Patricia Bernstein tells his story in her book Ten Dollars To Hate.

Klan Initiation, Houston 1921
Courtesy Patricia Bernstein

The Southern Poverty Law Center actively monitors some 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country, and that includes familiar names like the Ku Klux Klan.

Members of the KKK had never been successfully tried and convicted for acts of violence in this country until Dan Moody came along.

Before he became the 30th governor of Texas, Moody was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully take on and convict members of the KKK. In the 1920s, the 29-year-old Moody was the district attorney in Williamson County, north of Austin.

His story is told in the book Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan by Houston author Patricia Bernstein. Patricia Bernstein tells us more about Dan Moody and the stand he took against the KKK.

  • Before becoming governor of Texas, Dan Moody was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully try and convict members of the Ku Klux Klan. His story is told in Patricia Bernstein's book Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan. (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)
    Before becoming governor of Texas, Dan Moody was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully try and convict members of the Ku Klux Klan. His story is told in Patricia Bernstein's book Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan. (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)
  • Members of the Ku Klux Klan parading in Beaumont, 1921. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
    Members of the Ku Klux Klan parading in Beaumont, 1921. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
  • A KKK initiation rally photographed in Houston, 1921. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
    A KKK initiation rally photographed in Houston, 1921. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
  • Houston writer Patricia Bernstein is the author of Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan and The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
    Houston writer Patricia Bernstein is the author of Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan and The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Patricia Bernstein)
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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