The Texas Twenty

They worked hard, overcame obstacles, bucked conventional wisdom, and touched our lives. Meet the most impressive, intriguing, and influential Texans of 1999.

IN THE LAST TEXAS TWENTY of the 1900’s, we celebrate old-fashioned values, a stark contrast to the tattooed, unglued egomania of the modern world. Quiet competence, for instance—the combination of inner strength and self-confidence that helped Tim Duncan lead the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA title and made Marjorie Scardino the U.K.’s most powerful female CEO. Or stick-to-it-iveness, the pluck, luck, and can-do enthusiasm that helped Charlotte Beers get ahead in advertising and finally propelled the Dixie Chicks from the streets of Dallas to the top of the country charts. Or selflessness, from the community doctoring of Edward W. Guinn to the cultural bridge-building of José E. Limón. Or, best of all, courage. It was most certainly on display when Steven Gonzales kept his composure and dignity during a month in captivity in Yugoslavia, but the poster boy for bravery in the face of adversity has to be Lance Armstrong, who first beat cancer and then whipped his rivals in the Tour de France, establishing himself as the world’s best cyclist. That twofer makes him an American hero in our eyes; it surely qualifies him for our list of the most impressive, intriguing, and influential Texans of 1999.

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