Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995
Frank Tejeda was born in San Antonio, Texas on October 2, 1945. He attended St. Leo's Catholic School and Harlandale High School. From 1963 to 1967 he served in the United States Marine Corps and was wounded in action while serving in Vietnam. In 1970 he graduated from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, and in 1974 he received a J.D. degree from the University of California School of Law at Berkeley and was admitted to the bar. He served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1976 to 1987, and in the Texas Senate from 1987 to 1993. He continued his education while serving in the State legislature, and received an M.A. in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1980 and an LL.M. from Yale University School of Law in 1989. In 1992 Frank Tejeda was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas' 28th District with eighty-seven percent of the vote. In Congress he has continued his support of issues affecting veterans, as he did earlier in the Texas Legislature, where he supported bills to build housing for veterans. In his first term in Congress, he was assigned to the Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs Committees. He helped organize and lead a National Veterans Task Force in support of the candidacy of Bill Clinton for president.
Tejeda has shown a particular interest in legislation in support of the rights of minorities and on issues related to education, health care, and job training. He was reelected to the 104th Congress with seventy-one percent of the vote.
He died January 30, 1997 at the age of 51 from pneumonia, a complication of treatment for a malignant brain tumor. His seat was filled by Texas State Representative Ciro Rodriguez in a special election.