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Lee Leffingwell

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Lee Leffingwell

Lee Leffingwell
Mayor of Austin, Texas
Assumed office
June 22, 2009
Preceded by Will Wynn
Personal details
Born (1939-10-13) October 13, 1939
Austin, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julie Byers
Residence Austin, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Profession Pilot
Website Austin Mayor's Office
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Shelly "Lee" Leffingwell (born October 13, 1939) is an American politician and the mayor of Austin, Texas, since June 22, 2009.[1]

He was first elected to the Austin City Council in 2005, and won re-election in 2008. He was elected mayor in 2009, and subsequently re-elected to a second three year term on May 12, 2012, with over 52% of the vote.[2]

Early life and education

Leffingwell is a native of Austin, and grew up in the Bouldin neighborhood of South Austin. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mechanical engineering. His father was an Austin firefighter and later a Travis County Deputy Sheriff and his mother worked as an admissions clerk at UT.

Prior to serving as an elected official, Leffingwell was officer and pilot in the United States Navy and commercial airline pilot. After spending five years on active duty, including Vietnam service, Leffingwell joined the Navy Reserves, completing a total of 20 years military service. He was a pilot for Delta Air Lines for almost 32 years, ending his airline career as an international Boeing 767 and MD-11 Captain.[3]


After retiring from Delta, Lee volunteered in Austin, working on environmental issues. He was appointed to the Environmental Board by the Austin City Council in 1999, and subsequently elected Chair by his colleagues. In 2005, he ran for city council, suffering through the death of his wife just two weeks before election day. In 2008 he won re-election for the Place 1 seat.[4]

Leffingwell became mayor of Austin in 2009 when his opponent Brewster McCracken, a distant second place contender, voluntarily dropped out of the run-off election. He ran on a platform of increased public transparency, investment in transportation infrastructure, and support of small business. Throughout his career, Leffingwell has paid particular interest to environmental concerns, including water conservation, banning plastic grocery bags and supporting Austin environmental symbol Barton Springs.[5]


  1. ^ "Mayor Lee Leffingwell - Biography". City of Austin. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Largey, Matt (12 May 2012). "Lee Leffingwell Heading to Re-Election". KUT News. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Austin City Council Elections: Lee Leffingwell profile". Citizine Mag. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Starbuck Gerson, Emily. "Q&A With Lee Leffingwell, 2009 Mayoral Candidate". Austin. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. ^ LaMasters, Byron (22 April 2005). "Leffingwell's Wife Found Dead". Burnt Orange Report. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 

External links

  • Austin Mayor's Office official website
Political offices
Preceded by
Will Wynn
Mayor of Austin, Texas
June 22, 2009
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