Clarence Albert (C. A.) Tatum, Jr., civic leader and president of Texas Utilities Company, was born on June 25, 1907, in Dallas, the son of Clarence Albert and Annie Elizabeth (Wright) Tatum. In 1928 he graduated with a physics degree from Southern Methodist University. He was immediately employed in the commercial department of the Dallas Power and Light Company. By 1953 he was elected president and chief executive officer. He continued in that position until 1967, when he became chief executive officer of the Texas Utilities Company. He retired in 1975 but continued as a consultant until his death in 1986. In 1960 Tatum headed the Dallas Citizens Council. He was awarded a Liberty Bell Award by the Dallas Bar Association and the National Brotherhood Citation by the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1962. He believed that Dallas would grow and encouraged plans that would help it do so in an organized fashion. The idea of buying the Cotton Belt Railroad and turning it into Dallas North Tollway was his; later he became chairman of the Highway Committee of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Tatum was president of the Lion's Club of Dallas, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, and the State Fair of Texas. He served on the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees and Board of Governors. He was on the boards of the Dallas Summer Musicals, the Excellence in Education Foundation, and the Southwestern Medical Foundation. In 1959 he received a Dallas Hospital Council Award as chairman of the St. Paul Hospital building campaign. He was president of Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, in 1962 and 1963. He was a Methodist. On December 16, 1936, Tatum married Caroline King. They had two sons. Tatum died on October 1, 1986, at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and was buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
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Dallas Morning News, October 2, 1986. Dallas Times Herald, October 2, 1986. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Activism and Social Reform
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Lisa C. Maxwell,
“Tatum, Clarence Albert, Jr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 30, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
July 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
June 18, 2021
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: