Lucchese, Samuel James (1923–1980)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

Updated: February 25, 2021

Samuel James Lucchese, bootmaker, was born on November 9, 1923, in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Cosimo Lucchese. After graduating from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, he attended the University of Texas at Austin. Lucchese served in the United States Navy during World War II, and after his discharge in 1945 he returned to San Antonio to work with his father at Lucchese Boot Company, which had been founded in 1883 by his grandfather, Sam Lucchese. He went to work for Acme Boot Company in 1957 but returned to serve as president of Lucchese Boot Company in 1961 after his father's death. The Lucchese Boot Company was renowned for its fine quality boots, and over the years Lucchese designed boots for celebrities like John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Other famous customers included Lady Bird and Lyndon B. Johnson and Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller. Lucchese also worked as a consultant to Wrangler Boot Company in Nashville in 1969, and in 1970 he sold Lucchese Boot Company to Blue Bell, Incorporated, of Greensboro, North Carolina, the parent company of Wrangler. He stayed on as president of Lucchese Boot Company. In 1971 he was awarded the Designers Award from the Leather Industries of America. In 1977 he went to work for Tony Lama Company of El Paso. Lucchese was married to Jacquelyn Mercer, and they had three children. He was a Catholic. He died on May 20, 1980, in Houston.

Austin American, January 7, 1971. Dallas Morning News, August 16, 1977. Sam Lucchese with Tad S. Mizwa, A Lifetime with Boots (Houston: Cordovan, 1983).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Lucchese, Samuel James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995
February 25, 2021