Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez, 20th Congressional District of Texas. (2001) PHOTO COURTESY CHARLES GONZALEZ

HONORABLE CHARLES “CHARLIE” A. GONZALEZ was born on May 5, 1945 in San Antonio, Texas to Henry B. and Bertha Gonzalez. He graduated from Thomas A. Edison High School in 1965. He is married to Linda Heemer and has one son, Leo, from a previous marriage. Influenced by his father’s congressional career, he followed in his political footsteps.

Gonzalez attended San Antonio College before receiving a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas in Austin in 1969. Gonzalez obtained his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1972 and practiced law for ten years. He then joined the reservists in the Texas Air National Guard until 1975, serving for six years. In 1982, Gonzalez was elected a judge of the County Court at Law No. 2. He implemented many reforms including the creation of a separate civil docket system and also a domestic violence docket leading to greater specialization and efficiency. In 1988, he was elected as judge of the 57th Judicial District Court where he served until 1997. During those years, he established a district-wide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system that is considered one of the most successful ADR models. He also pushed for Spanish language in telecommunications and funding for the Texas educational system.

In 1999, he was elected to succeed his father as U.S. Representative from the 20th District of Texas where he served until his term expired in January 2013. During his judicial career, he was voted as one of the highest ranked judges in Bexar County. As Congressman, he served on a variety of House of Representative committees, including Financial Services, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Small Business, House Administration and Homeland Security. He chaired the Special Task Force to determine election results in Florida’s Congressional District 13. He also chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He was a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Bar Foundation, San Antonio Bar Association, Commission on Political Reform at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was involved with the University of Texas at Austin Center for Mexican-American Studies at the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o studies, and the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Public Policy. He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition. Like his father, Charlie Gonzalez fought for equal rights and representation for all. After his retirement from the House of Representatives Charlie Gonzalez returned to his hometown, San Antonio, where he worked with VIA before

returning to private practice. As of 2018, he is a partner with Ogletree Deakins in San Antonio, where he deals in International Labor and Employment Law.

By Shine Trabucco and Danielle Garza, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2018)


● Charles A. Gonzalez, Tʜᴇ Hᴜꜰꜰɪɴɢᴛᴏɴ Pᴏꜱt, Accessed November 19, 2018. ● Charles A. Gonzalez, Oɢʟᴇᴛʀᴇᴇ Dᴇᴀᴋɪɴꜱ, Accessed November 19, 2018.