Author Biographical Info

William B. Bates was born August 16, 1889 in Nat, Texas. He and his siblings attended local schools at Nat and in a place called Red Flat. In 1910, He attended Sam Houston Normal Institute where he earned teaching certificates. After teaching for a few years, he went on to study law at the University of Texas, graduating first in the class in 1915.
Bates served in the United States Army from 1917 to 1919 during World War I. When he returned, he opened a law practice with his brother, Jesse, and married Mary Estill Dorsey. In 1923, he was hired by Fulbright and Crooker, a law firm in Houston. The title "colonel" was bestowed upon W.B. Bates by his friend, former Governor of Texas Dan Moody.
William B. Bates had an enormous impact on the growth and development of Houston, almost from the moment he arrived. He became a member of the Houston Independent School District Board of education in 1925. The University of Houston was established under his chairmanship. William B. Bates also served the Houston Chamber of Commerce for many years. He was on the advisory board of the, then famous, Bank of the Southwest.
In 1939, William B. Bates became chairman of the Board of Trustees of the M.D. Anderson Foundation upon the death of its benefactor, Mr. Anderson. Col. Bates' foresight and leadership contributed to the creation and growth of the Texas Medical Center. W.B. Bates died on April 17, 1974.


Media is loading



Publication Date(s)

April 19, 1973




Texas Medical Center, N. Don Macon, MDA-TV (Television station : Houston, TX), Anderson, Monroe D. (Monroe Dunaway), 1873-1939, M.D. Anderson Foundation (Houston, TX), University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Fulbright, Crooker, and Freeman (Houston, TX), Baylor College of Medicine


Col. Bates discusses further the relationships of the M. D. Anderson Foundation and the institutions in the Texas Medical Center. He speaks of Dr. E. W. Bertner and Dr. R. Lee Clark. Col. Bates then turns to his interest in education and Texas History. He describes the evolution of the University of Houston and his participation in the San Jacinto historical Association. A discussion of the involvement of the Houston Chamber of Commerce in the development of the Texas Medical Center concludes the series. See more at Texas Medical Center Historical Resources Project Records and its finding aid.


Digital copy made available by Texas Medical Center Library. Digitization supported by South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) Speedy Startup funds, 2022.