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Pat Patton Interviews
Interview with Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough
from the Archives
Monday, March 10, 2003

photos by Lynda GuidryMy interview is with an outstanding community leader, Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough. Listen

Outside of his many accomplishments, there are two things that everyone knows about Judge Yarbrough -- that he is BOI – “Born on the Island”, and that as far as he is concerned, there is only ONE football team – the University of Texas Longhorns!!

In 1996, Judge Yarbrough was named Citizen of the Year by the Galveston County Daily News.  Also in 1996, he was named the Bay Area Distinguished Citizen by the Bay Area Council - Boy Scouts of America.  In 1998 along with his wife, Carol, he received the College of the Mainland’s Outstanding Service to Education Award.  In 1999, he was honored with the prestigious Clear Lake Area Economic Development Foundation’s (CLAEDF) Quasar Award along with Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, for demonstrating a strong and continual effort to support the business foundation of the greater Clear Lake region. 

Judge Yarbrough was born in Galveston County.  He attended the University of Texas at Austin on an athletic scholarship and captained the Longhorn Southwest Conference Football Championship team.  He blocked for Earl Campbell, and Earl gave him credit for helping him win the Heisman Trophy.  He was named to the All-Southwest Conference football team, and was the first player in the NCAA to play as a graduate student. 

He received a BBA Degree from UT with majors in finance, accounting and real estate.  Before he became a County Judge, he had fifteen years of successful business experience in Galveston County - 10 years as a banker and five years as a consultant to businesses throughout Galveston County through James D. Yarbrough & Company. 

In 1991, he was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Galveston Independent School District and served as the finance committee chair until his term expired in October 1994.  He also served a two-year term from 1992 to 1993 on the Galveston Central Appraisal District Board of Directors.  He was sworn in as a County Judge in Galveston County on January 1, 1995.  He has been married to his wife, Carol, for almost 25 years, and has two children, Ashley and Beau.   

On February 14, 2003, the day of our interview, Judge Yarbrough gave his “State of Galveston County Address” at the League City Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.  He is a very genuine and dynamic speaker whose belief in working together to accomplish goals, and strong community involvement are well known.  His gratitude for the opportunity to serve as a Galveston County Judge, and his dedication to his job, his family, and our community, make him an outstanding leader and a good friend to the Bay Area community.

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