Bob Bullock, 69, an often gruff and always imposing figure in Texas politics for 40 years, culminating in two terms in the powerful post of lieutenant governor, died June 18 at his home here. He had congestive heart failure.
In 1990, Mr. Bullock, a Democrat, was elected lieutenant governor -- a powerful job in a state that sharply limits the governor's authority.
He presided over the Texas Senate, made committee appointments, sat on key government boards and controlled the flow of legislation in the Senate.
During his tenure, the state ended a school-funding crisis, saw a once-shaky budget balloon to a $6 billion surplus and overhauled the civil justice system to impose limits on lawsuits.
"I have no agenda but what's good for Texas. And I have no love but Texas," Mr. Bullock said. He invariably ended his speeches with "God bless Texas."
Earlier, he served four terms as state comptroller, the state's chief tax collector.
In 1984, while he was in his third term as comptroller, Mr. Bullock abandoned his lifelong quest for the governor's office. He commented wryly: "Frankly, there has been no great public clamor for my services as governor. I've had about 100 expressions of support and one $5 contribution from a Mr. Lan Nelson of Walker County, which I am returning."
After deciding in 1997 not to seek a third term as lieutenant governor, he announced plans to give away his multimillion-dollar campaign bank account, donating much of it to Texas colleges and universities.
Mr. Bullock was born in Hillsboro, Tex. He won a state House seat while still a Baylor University law school student in 1956. Among his other posts were those of assistant attorney general, aide to the governor and secretary of state.
When he was sworn in as lieutenant governor in 1991, he described himself as "a person rich in human frailties."
He was married five times, tried constantly to quit smoking and underwent treatment for alcoholism in 1981. Over the years, he also battled heart and lung problems.
Once, when asked about his health, Mr. Bullock said, "I'm so busy I ain't got time to die."