Jan Jarboe Russell

Contributing editor Jan Jarboe Russell grew up in East Texas and joined Texas Monthly in the 1980s. Throughout her thirteen years writing for the magazine, she has covered subjects ranging from H-E-B’s “grocery wars” to a sanctuary for silent prayer in South Texas. Russell has also written for the San Antonio Express-News, Slate, and the New York Times. Her books include Lady Bird, a biography of Lady Bird Johnson; Eleanor in the Village, a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt’s time in Greenwich Village; and The Train to Crystal City, a New York Times best-seller about a family internment camp in Texas during World War II. The Train to Crystal City won the Carr P. Collins Award in 2016.

Russell is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Philosophical Society of Texas. She received Gemini Ink’s Award for Literary Excellence in 2018, and she is a member of the Daily Texan Hall of Fame at the University of Texas at Austin, her alma mater. She lives in San Antonio.

108 Articles

February 12, 2015

She Got Game

Becky Hammon didn’t get hired as the Spurs’ assistant coach because she’s a woman. She got the job for the same reason everyone gets a job with the Spurs: to keep the team winning.

January 20, 2013

Fathers and Sins

What happens to your belief in God when your son commits suicide after being molested by a priest? That's a question Nancy and Pat Lemberger have been struggling with for years.

Letter From Cleveland|
June 30, 2011

The Worst Hard Time

My hometown of Cleveland has become the most disgraced community in America because of a brutal, unspeakable crime that has set everyone against one another.

Politics & Policy|
April 30, 2010

Alamo Heights

One year into his first term as mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro is emerging as perhaps the most prominent young Hispanic politician in Texas. Get ready to get used to him.

Texas History|
August 31, 2007

A Lady First

Today, many younger Texans may be inclined to think of Lady Bird Johnson as belonging entirely to the past. But if her demeanor and style seemed faintly anachronistic, the virtues instilled by her parents back in East Texas—practicality, thriftiness, good manners, and an open mind—made her remarkably effective as a

Letter from San Antonio|
April 30, 2007

The Good Wife

Mary Alice Cisneros loved, honored, and cherished Henry’s political career. Now it’s her turn.

Jan Jarboe Russell|
May 31, 2004

Viva la Diferencia

A Harvard know-it-all predicts that the emerging Hispanic majority will be a drag on America. Tell it to your friends in Cambridge, bub.

June 30, 2003

The Last Maverick

With the passing of Maury Maverick, Jr., Texas liberals—real ones, not watered-down versions—are nearing extinction.

January 1, 2003

Jung at Heart

When I could no longer tolerate the religious fundamentalism of my childhood, I turned to the teachings of a Swiss psychiatrist—and rejuvenated my spiritual life.

September 30, 2002

Quite Contrary

Was the sacred image of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City painted by miracle or man? Even science can't say for sure.

Politics & Policy|
July 31, 1999

Alone Together

No one denies that there was love at the center of Lady Bird Johnson’s marriage to LBJ. But like Hillary Clinton, she endured quite a bit, spousally speaking, as her husband’s star was on the rise.

Style & Design|
November 1, 1995

Seeing Red

The contrversial color of ASan Antonio’s new public library is only the latest indication that architect Ricardo Legorreta isn’t afraid to buck convention.

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