Longhorns’ first African-American man to letter in football passed away on Tuesday morning.
The University of Texas at Austin lost one of its historical figures, trailblazers and true Longhorn Legends with the passing of Julius Whittier on Tuesday morning.
A San Antonio native and 1969 Highland High School graduate, Whittier was the Longhorns' first African-American athlete to letter in football and among the first African Americans to receive a football scholarship when he came to UT in 1969.
Whittier’s tenure at UT paved the way for other black athletes. Running back Roosevelt Leaks was recruited in 1971, Earl Campbell in 1974.
During Whittier’s time at UT, President Lyndon B. Johnson invited him to his ranch. During lunch, President Johnson recommended that Whittier continue his studies at the university’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.
"That's when I first learned what the LBJ School was all about," Whittier said. "I say this earnestly, but the president told me specifically that he would enjoy knowing that I had at least examined the program at the School."
Whittier followed Johnson’s advice, enrolled and graduated from the LBJ School in 1976. He eventually graduated with three degrees: an undergraduate degree in philosophy, a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School and a law degree from Texas.
For much of his career, he worked as a senior prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney's office before retiring in 2012. He earned a spot in the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2013, and in August was inducted into the San Antonio Independent School District Hall of Fame.