Gus Hodges (1908-1992) was born in Alba, Texas and attended the University of Texas, receiving his B.B.A. in 1930 and his LL.B. in 1932. He was a member of Phi Delta Phi, Chancellors, Order of the Coif, and the Texas Law Review. After graduating, Hodges practiced personal injury law with the Dallas firm Robertson, Leachman, Payne, Gardere, and Lancaster.
Hodges returned to the University of Texas School of Law to teach civil procedure in 1940. In 1944, Hodges's teaching career was interrupted when he served as a Naval communications officer on the U.S.S. Beagle stationed in the Pacific during World War II. In 1946, Hodges returned to the University of Texas and remained until his retirement in 1976. He was named a professor emeritus in 1978 and the Gus M. Hodges Regents Research Professorship in Law was established in 1984.
A perennial favorite of the students and an expert at teaching the legal process and intricacies of civil procedure, Hodges was also one of the law school's most colorful professors. He favored wearing red socks and polka-dot bow ties and sported a trademark handlebar mustache, which he twirled while lecturing. He is also remembered for "excusing" any student found to be unprepared, and stopping class until the student left the room.
Professor Hodges, referred to as "Mr. Texas Procedure," was considered to be one of the leading experts on Texas procedure. He authored Special Issues Submission in Texas in 1959, second edition 1969, one of the most widely used books ever written on the subject of procedure. Hodges also wrote The Judicial Process Prior to Trial in Texas: Cases and Materials on Parties, Actions, Res Judicata, Jurisdiction, Venue, Pleading, and Discovery in 1966, second edition 1977, with Albert P. Jones and Frank W. Elliott; Cases and Materials on Texas Trial and Appellate Procedure with Albert P. Jones and Frank W. Elliott, Jr. in 1965, second edition 1974;and The Jury Charge in Texas Civil Litigation with T. Ray Guy in 1988. He was named Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Alumnus during his tenure at the University of Texas. Additionally, Hodges served as a commissioner on Uniform State Laws, member of the State Bar Commission on Administration of Justice, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Rules of Procedure for the Supreme Court of Texas.