The Story of Ann Richards
September 1, 1933 - Dorothy Ann Willis is born in Lakeview, Texas.
1953 - Ann attends Baylor University on a debate scholarship and marries her high school sweetheart, David Richards. She also begins teaching government and working for political campaigns.
1972 - Richards runs the successful campaign to elect Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued the winning side of Roe v. Wade in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, to the Texas legislature.
1976 - Richards is elected county commissioner.
1980 - Richards seeks treatment for alcoholism through Alcoholics Anonymous and remains sober for the rest of her life.
1983 - Richards is elected Texas State Treasurer.
1988 - As the most effective state treasurer of Texas, she delivers the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, which gives her national attention.
1991 - Richards is elected as the 45th Governor of Texas. She is the second female governor of Texas, and the first elected in her own right.
“Today we have a vision of a Texas where opportunity knows no race, no gender, no color — a glimpse of what can happen in government if we simply open the doors and let people in.”
- Ann Richards (Inaugural Address, January 15, 1991)
1991-1995 - As governor, Richards appoints unprecedented numbers of women and minorities to state positions. She also creates the state lottery and improves the prison system. She travels the huge state more than any governor in history, making an effort to have government be visible and accessible to the people of Texas.
1996-2005 - Ann Richards, renowned speaker and advisor, enjoys a unique and expanding international welcome as a citizen of the world and inspiration for boys and girls, men and women. "If I can...you can," was always her unmistakable message.
2004 - By happenstance, Holland Taylor meets the dynamic Ann Richards in NYC through mutual friend, columnist Liz Smith.
September 16, 2006 - Battling esophageal cancer for six months, Ann Richards passes away from complications of the disease. Shocked by her passing, Holland Taylor is inspired to learn more about Richards' life.
2006-2008 - Holland Taylor researches Ann Richards, pouring through hundreds of hours of film, speeches, archive files and interviewing close friends and coworkers of Richards.
2009 - Taylor translates her research into a new play titled Money, Marbles and Chalk: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards (later titled ANN).
2010 - Money, Marbles and Chalk debuts at The Grand 1894 Opera House - Galveston, Texas.
2010 - Newly titled ANN, starring Holland Taylor, plays in San Antonio, Texas at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater.
2011 - ANN plays Galveston again and Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theatre to a raucous, loving hometown crowd.
November 2011 - ANN plays in Chicago to great critical success at the Bank of America Theatre.
December 2011-January 2012 - ANN is presented in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
March 7, 2013 - Revamped ANN opens on Broadway, March 7th at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Photos by Ave Bonar