SHARP, JOHN SPENCER (1950 ~ ). The following is a brief biographical sketch of former Senator and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts John Sharp provided by the Sharp family.
"John Spencer Sharp grew up in the small oilfield and farming town of Placedo, Texas in Victoria County. He attended Bloomington High School, and upon graduation, enrolled at Texas A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and was commissioned to Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves. At A&M he was named as a member of Corps staff of the Corps of Cadets, and was elected class president as well as student body president, among other honors. Upon graduation he served in the United States Army Reserves as an officer. He later received a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Southwest Texas State University while working full time at the Legislative Budget Board in Austin.
Sharp was elected to the Texas House of Representatives representing Victoria and Calhoun counties, and was later elected as a Senator from the Fifth District in South Central Texas. As a member of the Senate, he served on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and as a member of the House of Representatives, served as the Vice Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. In his first term in the House of Representatives, he was named Outstanding Freshman by Texas Monthly magazine. In 1985, he was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission where he placed an emphasis on the development of natural gas.
Four years later, he was elected Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts where he served eight years. He began the Texas Performance Review which is credited with saving taxpayers over $8 billion and helped divert a state income tax in 1991. His performance reviews resulted in the creation of several hundred changes in state government, including the Lone Star card, which did away with paper food stamps and reduced fraud and abuse in that program.
In 1995, he wrote the original welfare reform plan that formed the heart of the most sweeping changes to public assistance in Texas history. The Texas Performance Review became the model for the National Performance Review carried out at a national level. His family Pathfinders program linked welfare families with local civic clubs, congregations and businesses to help them get jobs.
His Texas School Performance Review is credited with saving school districts more than $350 million. His Texas Tomorrow Fund is making it possible for over 110,000 families to secure the future cost of their children's college education at current rates. Sharp is the only government official ever to receive the Texas Quality Award for Efficiency awarded by Texas business leaders. Although he didn't vote for the lottery, Sharp was given the job of running it, and commanded the most successful state lottery startup in history.
Sharp has been a real estate broker since 1978 and was in the real estate business during his legislative years. He is currently a principal in the Dallas-based company, Ryan & Company, one of the fastest growing tax firms in the country. Sharp has been married to Charlotte Han of Austin since 1978. Sharp has a son, Spencer, and a daughter, Victoria. They are active members of their church, and are involved in many community and humanitarian efforts."
Further information available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.