The Texas Twenty

THE FINAL PICK FOR THIS YEAR’S TEXAS TWENTY was made on August 1, when Michael Johnson’s performance at the Olympics solidified his place not only on our list but in the hearts and mem-ories of people around the world. Yet not everyone we selected broke a world record; some achievements were smaller and more personal, though great in their own way. Take environmentalist Tony Amos, who walks the beaches of the Gulf Coast in search of ways to combat pollution. Or art collectors Harriet and Harmon Kelley, who are preserving African American culture for generations to come. Or novelist Mary Karr, who writes about her difficult childhood with grace and humor. Most of the honorees on the following pages demonstrated strength, conviction, and a measure of character. At least one, a certain Dallas Cowboys star, merely showed himself to be a character. But give Michael Irvin his due: There’s no denying that he is among the most important, interesting, and influential Texans of 1996.

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