Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Honoring Fred Trammell Crow

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

legislator photo

Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize the passing of a pioneer in the field of commercial real estate development both in Dallas and around the world, Mr. Fred Trammell Crow.

Fred Trammell Crow was born June 10, 1914 in Dallas, Texas, the fifth of the eight children of Jefferson and Mary Crow. Growing up in a rented one-bedroom house in East Dallas, Trammell Crow graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1932. Unable to attend college because of the Great Depression, Mr. Crow worked several odd jobs; eventually he worked his way through school at the American Institute of Banking and at Dallas College, the evening division of Southern Methodist University.

Trammell Crow passed the Texas CPA exam in 1938 and accepted a position with Ernst & Ernst as an auditor. As World War II approached, he applied for and was accepted for an officer's commission in the U.S. Navy where he used his auditing skills. Later he was in charge of Navy audit teams that worked with various defense contractors. By 1944, he earned the rank of commander in charge of cost inspection for the Eighth Naval District in New Orleans.

Mr. Crow married Margaret Doggett in 1942 and returned to Dallas in 1946, when his Naval assignment was completed. Mr. Crow went to work with the Doggett Grain Company where he would stay until 1948 when, at age 33, he began his legendary career in real estate.

In the 1950s, Trammel Crow introduced Dallas to the idea of building on speculation. He soon became a major industrial developer in the city, building the huge Dallas Market Center in 1957 and his first downtown office building two years later. In the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Crow developed the major merchandise marts of Dallas including the Dallas Design District, Dallas Apparel Mart and World Trade Center. Crow's agents did more than $15 billion in development and eventually gave him an interest in 8,000 properties, ranging from houses to hospitals, hotels and office buildings located in Brussels, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Miami, and Washington, D.C., amid others. Among Mr. Crow's many real estate accomplishments, he founded Trammell Crow Company, Trammell Crow Residential and Wyndham Hotel Company.

He and his wife Margaret were avid travelers who particularly enjoyed collecting art during their numerous business trips. In 1998, the Crow Family made it possible for everyone to share their love of Asian art by dedicating the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, a permanent museum located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. He and his family have also donated $1.1 million for research into Alzheimer's disease at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Madam Speaker, Trammell Crow is survived by his loving wife, Margaret, his children: Robert, Howard, Harlan, Trammell S., Lucy Billingsley and Stuart, sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.