Hampson Boren Gary – Colonel, United States Army Foreign Service Officer

Hampson Boren Gary, soldier, public servant, and diplomat, was born in Tyler, Texas, on April 23, 1873, the son of Franklin Newman and Martha Isabella (Boren) Gary.

In 1886, after his parents died, Gary was placed under the legal guardianship of Dr. F. M. Hicks. He attended school in Shreveport, Louisiana, and in 1888 went to Bingham School in North Carolina. After graduation from the University of Virginia (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1894, he practiced law in Tyler.

He was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Fifth Infantry on June 24, 1896, and later organized the Smith County Rifles.

During the Spanish-American War he was captain of Company K, Fourth Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After the war he served in the Texas National Guard as colonel of the Third Texas Infantry Regiment. Gary was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, 1900-01, and the board of regents of the University of Texas, 1909-10, and also served as a referee in bankruptcy for four years.

In 1914 he was appointed special counsel to the State Department to assist in matters arising out of the war situation in Europe. In 1915 he was appointed assistant solicitor in the State Department. In 1917 he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as diplomatic agent and consul general to Egypt in charge of American interests in Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, where he formed a close friendship with Field Marshal Viscount Allenby, who commanded British forces in the Near East.

In 1919 Gary was called to Paris to assist the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, and on April 1, 1920, he was appointed minister to Switzerland by President Wilson. Gary attended the First Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva as an observer for the United States.

He resigned from the diplomatic service and practiced law in New York and Washington, D.C., from 1921 to 1934. A staunch Democrat and friend of President Franklin Roosevelt, he was appointed a member of the first Federal Communications Commission in 1934 and later served as its general counsel, 1935-38. He was appointed solicitor of the United States Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C., 1938-46.

On December 18, 1901, he married Bessie Royall of Palestine. Gary maintained a lifelong interest in Texas history and was a contributor to the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the Handbook of Texas. He died in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 18, 1952, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, survived by a son and a daughter.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 04/23/1873
  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/18/1952
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/22/1952

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