Jean MacMullen Holloway, writer and attorney, was born in San Francisco on October 16, 1911. She moved to Texas with her family in 1916 and studied at the Hockaday School in Dallas. After graduating from the University of Texas at the age of seventeen in 1929, she married Sterling Holloway, an attorney, and studied law in his office in Brownwood. At the age of nineteen she successfully petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for permission to take the bar examination on the ground that she was married and therefore not legally a minor. Granted a license to practice law in 1930, Mrs. Holloway was the youngest person ever to pass the Texas bar.
In 1936 the Holloways moved to Fort Worth, where Jean owned and managed the Commercial Employment Service from 1937 to 1940. She was a licensed pilot and served at the Army Air Force Training Center in Fort Worth as assistant to Jacqueline Cochran, director of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, during World War II. From 1943 until 1945 she was on the staff of the Southwest Review. She earned an M.A. degree at Texas Christian University in 1948 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas in 1950.
From the fall of 1950 until the spring of 1952, Mrs. Holloway served as the first editor of the newly established University of Texas Press. After moving permanently to Austin in 1954, she divided her time between writing and the law. She published two biographies, Edward Everett Hale (1956) and Hamlin Garland: A Biography (1960), and taught briefly in the English department at Huston-Tillotson College in 1965. She maintained a law practice with her husband until his death in 1976 and served as counsel to the firm thereafter.
As a founding member of the Austin Commission on Human Relations and editor of its newsletter, she worked for integration. She served on the Chancellor's Council at the University of Texas and in 1970 endowed the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Sciences. In 1984 she gave $20,000, which was matched by the university, to endow a lectureship in the College of Liberal Arts in her husband's name. Jean Holloway died on May 20, 1984, en route home from the Soviet Union, where she had been attending a legal seminar, and was buried in Austin Memorial Park. She was survived by a daughter and a son.