Procter, Leslie Clay, Jr. (1921–1985)

By: Ben H. Procter

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Leslie Clay Procter, Jr., attorney, was born on February 17, 1921, in Temple, Texas, the son of Leslie C. and Hazel (Barnes) Procter. After graduating from Temple High School in 1938, he attended Temple Junior College for one year. He then transferred on a football scholarship to the University of Texas, where he lettered on the 1942 Southwest Conference championship team. With Edgar Shelton he also represented the university in men's debate. In 1942 Procter entered the United States Marine Corps and in 1943 was stationed at Southwestern University in Georgetown before going to officers' training school at Quantico, Virginia. After being promoted to second lieutenant as an artillery officer in the Sixth Marine Corps, he shipped overseas to the Far Eastern Theater. He fought in the battle of Okinawa (May-June 1945), then returned to the United States early in 1946, having achieved the rank of captain before his discharge in the spring of that year. In 1947 he received his B.A. from the University of Texas while attending its law school. Upon graduation in June 1949 he was appointed an assistant district attorney for Travis County under Jack Roberts.

In 1950 he was elected Travis county attorney. Soon after taking office, however, he was called back into the Sixth Marine Corps and served again overseas as an artillery officer in the Korean War. Following his discharge as a major in the summer of 1952, he won an uncontested bid for reelection. Then, in 1954 he was elected Travis County District Attorney, a position he held with distinction for eight years. He tried-and won-all state cases involving Texas insurance and the Veterans' Land Board scandal. In fact, he convicted popular state land commissioner Bascom Giles in 1955 on twelve counts of fraud and bribery. As a result of such diligence, Procter was chosen "Travis County Man of the Year for 1955" by the Austin J.C.'s, of which he was a member. He was also a member of the state bar, the Texas Letterman's Association, the Ben Hur Shrine Temple, the Kiwanis Club, and the United Methodist Church. During his last seven years as district attorney he successfully prosecuted every major case that came before his office. In 1962 Procter resigned to run for state attorney general and, even though he overwhelmingly carried Travis County, was defeated by Waggoner Carr of Lubbock. Thereafter, Procter retired to a private law firm in Austin, which he headed until his death, on April 16, 1985. He is buried in the family plot in Austin.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Criminal Law and District Attorneys

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

Ben H. Procter, “Procter, Leslie Clay, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995