Albert Thomas


Albert Thomas was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, on 12th April, 1898. During the First World War he served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.

Thomas graduated from the Rice Institute, Houston, Texas, in 1920. He then went on to study law at the University of Texas in Austin and in 1927 became district attorney for the southern district of Texas (1927-1930).

A member of the Democratic Party, Thomas was elected to the House of Representatives in 1936 and eventually became chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Committee.

Thomas became a member of what became known as the Suite 8F Group. The name comes from the room in the Lamar Hotel in Houston where they held their meetings. Members of the group included Lyndon B. Johnson, George Brown and Herman Brown (Brown & Root), Jesse H. Jones (multimillionaire investor in a large number of organizations and chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation), Gus Wortham (American General Insurance Company), Robert Kerr (Kerr-McGee Oil Industries), James Slither Abercrombie (Cameron Iron Works), William Hobby (Governor of Texas), Richard Russell (chairman of the Committee of Manufactures, Committee on Armed Forces and Committee of Appropriations) and John Connally (Governor of Texas). Alvin Wirtz and Edward Clark, were also members of the Suite 8F Group.

Albert Thomas (far left) with Lyndon Johnson on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Albert Thomas (far left) with Lyndon Johnson on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Thomas also served on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and was instrumental in securing the location of the United States National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1961. This involved obtaining 1,000 acres of land that had originally been owned by the Humble Oil Company to Rice University. Thomas persuaded George Brown, a trustee of Rice University, to donate the land to NASA.

Albert Thomas died in Washington on 3rd January, 1966 and was buried in the Veterans' Administration Cemetery, Houston, Texas.