Noted author Vernon Guy Smylie, Jr. (1920-1977) was born in Houston and attended high school in La Porte, Texas. He graduated from Texas Christian University in 1941 with a B.A. in journalism and government; he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps where he served in public relations during World War II. He married Mary A. Gaydon of Miami, Florida in March 1944. He did graduate study in public relations at the University of Wisconsin and in government at Texas A&I University. He and his wife moved to Corpus Christi during the early 1950s where he opened the public relations firm of Vernon Smylie and Associates.
Smylie wrote extensively on Texas and Southwestern topics. He was a member of the Texas State Historical Commission and the Corpus Christi Fine Arts Colony. He was president of the Nueces County Historical Society and a vice chair of the Nueces County Historical Survey Commission.
Vernon Smylie was the author of Edward Cunningham Lasater: His Life and Accomplishments (1952); Taming the Texas Coast (1963); The Secrets of Padre Island (1964); The Moon Belongs to Houston (1966); A Noose for Chipita (1970); Swinney Switch, Texas (1971); Texas in Fact (with Eric Smylie, 1972); The Texas Coast: A Verbal and Artistic Portrait (with Gerda McMurry, 1975); W.H. Bauer: a Biography of Accomplishment (1976); and other titles.
The Vernon Smylie Papers consist of approximately thirty-one linear feet of materials. They contain correspondence, newspaper articles from the late 19th century until the 1970s, manuscripts of several of Smylie’s books, political advertisements produced by Vernon Smylie and Associates, records and correspondence from the Texas Historical Commission for the 1960s and 1970s, photographs from the late 19th century through the mid 1950s, memorabilia from World War I and World War II, and other items.
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