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MacCorkle, Stuart A. (1903–1982)

Michael Miller Biography

Stuart A. MacCorkle, government professor and one-time mayor pro tem of Austin, was born in Lexington, Virginia, in 1903. He attended Washington and Lee University (B.A., 1924), the University of Virginia (M.A.), and Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.). He joined the University of Texas in 1930 as a government instructor. After teaching at Southwestern College in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1931–32, he returned to Texas, where he taught until 1967. In 1937 he became the director of the Bureau of Municipal Research, an early forerunner of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. MacCorkle lectured at the University of Maryland in 1942, at the National University of Mexico in 1944, and at the University of Illinois in 1946. He was the author of a number of books, including Texas Government (1974), Municipal Administration (1942), and Texas Civics (1955), as well as numerous articles and pamphlets. He was elected to the Austin City Council in 1949, and during his second term served as mayor pro tem of Austin, from April 1951 to May 1953. He had a seat on the Austin Planning Commission, was the chairman of the Austin Airport Zoning Board, and was an advisor to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. In 1949, MacCorkle became the chairman of the Governor's Tax Study, and from February 1, 1951, to September 1, 1952, during a leave from the university, he was executive director of the Texas Economy Commission. While on another leave from the university from 1958 to 1960, he was public-administration advisor at Seoul National University in Korea. In 1964 he was a visiting lecturer at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. The same year, he received an honorary doctorate from Washington and Lee University for having "extended to countless others his great knowledge and understanding of the way man governs his society." MacCorkle married Lucille Emerson. They had no children. He was a Presbyterian. He died on April 8, 1982, and was buried in Lexington, Virginia.

Austin American-Statesman, June 10, 1964, August 4, 1967. On Campus, April 19–25, 1982. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Education
  • Educators
  • Social Sciences

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

Michael Miller, “MacCorkle, Stuart A.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.