MCLEOD, ERLE DOUGLAS (1941 ~ ). Doug McLeod was born at Galveston's St. Mary's Hospital on August 6, 1941, to V. W. "Boo" McLeod, renowned civil trial defense lawyer from Jackson, Mississippi, and Dorothy Milroy McLeod, member of a prominent Brenham, Texas family.
"Dotty and Boo" McLeod were both valedictorians of their high school senior classes and emphasized highly the importance of education to the five McLeod children. Doug grew up at 4811 Denver Drive in Galveston with his oldest sibling Ann, big brother V.W., Jr. ("Bubba"), and two younger sisters, Dorothy and Gail. He always thought that being the middle child was best, because the mischief he managed to get himself into was sometimes overlooked. Post-World War II Galveston was a fun place for kids to grow up, and Doug had many great memories about the Island's beaches, fishing at Lake Como, playing at Ft. Crockett, participating in all sports but excelling in track and swimming.
The baby boom of that era provided nearly 50 kids in the two or three block Denver Court neighborhood, all of whom seemed to gravitate to sandlot baseball and football, annual trips to the Houston rodeo, weekly "sock hops", and (to the chagrin of parents) firecrackers, b.b. guns, an array of unleashed pets, hot rods, and motorcycles.
After attending local public schools and Westminster Preparatory School in Atlanta, Georgia, McLeod graduated from Ball High School. He would eventually get his first college degree, a B. B. A. from U. N. T., followed by a year of post-graduate work at S. M. U., a doctor of jurisprudence from S. T. C. L., and a master of laws (LL.M) from the University of Houston Law School. As were his father and brother, Doug was a member of the U. T. Tau chapter of Kappa Sigma, a fraternity he would serve in various capacities throughout his lifetime.
As a boy, McLeod had many heroes including the Brooklyn Dodgers and Hollywood actor John Wayne. When at age 10, he saw the movie "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring Wayne, he was convinced that one day he would surely become a U. S. Marine. The Berlin Wall Crisis and Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s provided the incentive to do just that and at age 19, he began his active duty in a Marine Corps assault amphibian unit on the east coast at Parris Island and Courthouse Bay. His active and reserve service would span six years from 1961-1967. McLeod served honorably in the U. S. Marines and was discharged after his tour of duty with good conduct, marksman, sharpshooter, and infantry training regiment medals. Of all the accomplishments in his career, he was proudest of his service as an enlisted Marine when still a teenager and was convinced that the Corps was the toughest but best thing that he ever did for himself as well as his country.
After military service and college, McLeod began his civilian career as a public school teacher, proceeded into banking and real estate development, and spent most his career in various executive positions with the Moody Family enterprises in Galveston, including his longtime leadership of the development of Moody Gardens. Doug began his affiliation with the Moody's as a lifeguard during summers when he was a student. Starting at age 14, he had spent four summer vacations working at a cotton compress at 38th and Wharf but later figured out that he would meet a bunch more pretty girls at the Seahorse Hotel pool than down on the docks.
He always retained an interest in education and was elected to his first political office at age 27 as a trustee of the local public school board. McLeod was an elected official for 14 years from 1969-1983, first as a member and president of the G. I. S. D. School Board, then as mayor pro-tem and city councilman, and eventually as a three-term state legislator (House of Representatives) for Galveston County. When McLeod was elected to the Texas House in 1976, he was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the Business and Industry and Judicial Affairs Committees. For the Business and Industry Committee he served as vice-chairman of the Appropriative Matters Committee along with serving as the chairman of the Industrial Development Committee.
In 1977, he was also appointed to serve on the Texas Coastal and Marine Council, the Joint Committee on Products and Liability, and the Offset Emissions Committee. In 1978, he was re-elected to the House of Representatives for a second term. In 1979, McLeod was re-appointed by House Speaker Clayton to be vice-chairman of the Business and Industry Committee during the 66th legislative session. He also served as a member of the House Administration and Financial Institutions Committees. After re-election to a third term in 1980, McLeod was named vice-chairman of the Security and Sanctions Committee. He was then re-appointed as a member of the Business and Industry Committee. Representative McLeod was next appointed to the executive committee of the Texas Coastal Marine Council during his tenure in the legislature. Throughout his lengthy political career, he remained a steadfast conservative and firm believer in supply side economics, albeit he often voted a split-ticket at the ballot box. His favorite U. S. presidents were Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan. In 1983, after his last (14th) year in elected politics at age 42, he looked forward to some unique and exciting opportunities.
Thereafter, Doug continued his business career and eventually became a member of the board of directors of eleven Moody corporations including: American National Insurance Company (chairman, compensation committee); National Western Life Insurance Company; Anrem Corporation; American National County Mutual; four other county mutual companies in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana; Moody Gardens, Inc. (chairman, board of directors); The Colonel Museum, Inc. (vice-president); and the Center for Transportation and Commerce (chairman). His real estate development work for the Moody Foundation, as director of development and head of the design team, enabled him to be an essential part of leadership of the 400 million dollar Moody Gardens project from its inception. He was so proud of what the Moody team designed and developed at Moody Gardens over several decades, especially his involvement in building the Vietnam Memorial there. He also served as chairman of the Salvation Army Board, and as a member of the boards of the William Temple Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House (founding board), the Downtown Revitalization Committee, the City of Galveston Sesquicentennial Commission, the Trolley Committee, and the St. Mary's Hospital Councilors. Additionally, he was a longtime member of the University of Houston at Clear Lake President's Development and Advisory Council.
Among his highest honors, Doug at age 34 received the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet as Galveston's most outstanding junior citizen; and, in 1989, the former high school letterman was inducted into the Ball High Wall of Fame.
Other civic activities have included service as president of the Galveston Apartment Association, president of the Cedar Lawn Association, member of the Tax Zone Reinvestment Board, Galveston County r.o.w. condemnation commissioner, chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Drive (three years), chairman of the 1894 Grand Opera House, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Honor Guard, board member of the Galveston Rotary Club, the American Red Cross, the Ball High Centennial Committee, the Galveston Jaycees, vice-chairman and executive board member of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, foreman, 56th District Court Jury, and foreman, Galveston County Grand Jury. Also, he has served as executive board member, merit badge counselor and district vice-chairman of Bay Area Boy Scouts; board member of Galveston Historical Foundation; state board member of Texas Youth Conference; and board member of First State Bank of Hitchcock. Doug was founding director, past president, and "King Frivolous" of the Knights of Momus (the krewe which sponsors the annual Mardi Gras celebration), governor of the Galveston Chapter of the Granaderos de Galvez, and a member of the Galveston Artillery Club and the South Shore Harbour Country Club.
First and foremost came his family and his church. He is married to Joan Williams McLeod, formerly of Richmond, Texas, and has six children: Chanse, Alexandra, Lindsey, Joanie, and stepdaughters Meg Walker Janek and Libbie Walker Ansell. His utmost ambition in life was to be a loving parent and, later, a good grandparent as well as revered uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Shortly after college, Doug and Joan and their respective families became members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, where Doug served as a member of the Trinity School Board, the church vestry, senior warden and member of the finance and investment committees. Both served as trustees of St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas and remain dedicated Episcopalians. Joan is from a pioneer Ft. Bend County ranching family and the two met at a Camp Mystic/Camp Stewart dance in Hunt, Texas in 1955. Joan also taught Sunday school when a young mother, but thereafter continued her Christian teachings, forever encouraging Doug and the children to embrace organized religion.
As a hobby, McLeod has enjoyed physical fitness, movies of all kinds, and historical research and writing. He is also very proud of becoming an attorney the "hard way", although he made his primary living in real estate development. Doug overcame the challenges of working full-time and then driving a 120-mile round trip four nights a week to Houston for nearly four years to become a Doctor of Jurisprudence. His law school memberships and accolades include: Magister (president) of S. T. C. L. chapters of honors fraternity Phi Delta Phi; Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges; chairman of Dean's Steering Committee for annual Law Week Celebration; member of student division of American Bar Association; member of American Judicature Society; member of executive council of Student Bar Association; retreat chairman for presidents of student organizations; attendance at 100% of classes during four year course of study; Dean's Honor List; L. Jeffers Moot Court Competition brief award; the Joe M. Green Graduate Award; American Jurisprudence Award in Business Reorganization Law; honors passes in Legal Research II and Appellate Advocacy; and a member of Environmental Law Society, International Phi Delta Phi Legal Ethics Seminar Committee; and S. T. C. L. Board of Visitors.
McLeod passed the Bar exam on the first try and was admitted to practice law only six months after graduation. His primary interests are international economics, and he was later accepted into the master of laws program at the University of Houston Law Center. Doug eventually received his LL.M degree in International Economic Law. His is a member of the Galveston County and American (International Law Division) Bar Associations; State Bar of Texas, U. S. Southern District, and the Texas/Mexico Bar Association. When his son, Chanse, earned the distinction of becoming a fourth generation attorney in the McLeod tradition, the entire family regretted that his grandfather "Boo" was not alive to witness such a proud occasion.
Doug also currently serves or has served on the board of editors of "Currents" International Trade Law Journal and his third term on the board of directors of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce (1997). Elected to the executive committee of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership (1998), and chairman of the Tourism Task Force (1999), McLeod continues to promote Galveston in both business and civic endeavors. In 2000, he was named to the board of directors (his 5th school/college board) of South Texas College of Law in Houston, where he serves as chairman of the audit committee, the Bay Area Boy Scouts, as chairman of the executive committee of the K.O.M. (Mardi Gras Galveston organizers and krewe), the state board of the Texas Kappa Sigma Educational Foundation, and the Houston Metropolitan Study Committee (2002). At the time this biography was written (March 2003), Mr. McLeod was looking forward to several more decades of active civic and social life in his hometown, Galveston Island.
Information taken from Doug McLeod and Texas State Cemetery file materials.