9 Notable Texas Deaths of 2011: Football, Gay Rights & Fodder for JFK Conspiracists
Texas gives to the world, and eventually the people who do the giving die. Such was the case in 2011, when at least nine notable Texans joined the Choir Invisible, the Great Majority, the dead.
James Hosty: The man who didn't stop Oswald.
Without them, there would no Weed-Eaters, and perhaps the greatest college football/politician scandal ever wouldn't have happened; JFK conspiracists would have much less to chew on and Texas birders would be bereft of a beloved collection of paintings.
Here are nine Texans who made a mark on the world before leaving it this year.
9. James Hosty
James Hosty is the FBI agent who got handed Lee Harvey Oswald's file, with orders to investigate him, in October 1963. He failed to talk to Oswald in the ensuing month.
Hosty went to his grave saying nothing he could have done would have prevented JFK's assassination, but like everyone else in government he covered his backside when the investigations began.
On the day Jack Ruby shot Oswald, Hosty burned a note he had received from the future assassin complaining about the FBI's treatment of his wife. Hosty was also involved in making sure investigators didn't see that Oswald's address book included his name.
He was portrayed in Oliver Stone's JFK as a conspirator in the death; Hosty's son said that such claims were hurtful to his dad.
"The irony was, my dad was a devout Irish-Catholic Democrat Kennedy supporter," Thomas Hosty told The New York Times.
Bubba Smith was a product of the Golden Triangle and one of the best high school football players ever in Texas.
He went on to play at Michigan State, where he was forever hated by Notre Dame fans for separating the shoulder of star QB Terry Hanratty in the 1966 "Game of the Century." Spartan fans used to chant "Kill, Bubba Kill" during games, and the defensive lineman relished his violent reputation. Off the field, though, he was a solid dude active in charities.
To a lot of people -- mostly those with absolutely no sense of movie taste whatsoever -- he will always be remembered for his Police Academy movies, which, we hope, helped him pay the bills.