…Dallas had no reason for existence. There were no natural advantages to its location- neither harbor, nor large river, nor water supply, nor an especially advantageous climate. Yet here it is, and it did grow. Why? Because of people- people who dreamed and built and dreamed some more about greater things.
The donors who have made Underwood Law Library a reality are that kind of people. They are a part of Dallas, its land, and its development.
George Underwood was raised in Dallas. His father, Dr. George Milton Underwood, was associated with the Dallas Medical & Surgical Clinic for 50 years and served as its president from 1955 until his retirement in 1964. His mother, Maurice Helena Matthews Underwood, is descended from a pioneer family who settled near Athens, Texas, in 1837. She was President of SMU’s Mothers’ Club in 1945-46.
From earliest childhood Mr. Underwood demonstrated the talents of a successful entrepreneur. At seven years of age he had a newspaper stand selling the Dallas Morning News and the old Dallas Journal. In high school, he carried a Dallas Times Herald route on Hillcrest Avenue across from the present library. That same route he later turned over to his neighborhood friend, Charles Galvin. From Highland Park High School he went on to SMU where, in addition to his academic program, he lettered on the golf team, ran a candid camera business and conducted a dance band.
Following graduation from SMU in 1941, he served in the United States Army until his discharge as a First Lieutenant in 1945. While stationed in Mississippi he courted and married Nancy Lou Chambers, the daughter of the late William Ross Chambers and Norma Barnes Chambers, now Mrs. R.L. Martin of Jackson, Mississippi. Nancy and George began their career in the home construction business in Jackson, Mississippi and came to Dallas in 1947 to continue this business in a rapidly growing area. Mr. Underwood had a major role in the development of the city of Richardson, Texas, expanding his enterprises to include shopping centers, motels, apartments, and other real estate investments.
In addition to serving on SMU’s Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, Mr. Underwood was active in numerous civic organizations, including the Dallas City Planning Commission, the Dallas City Council, the Dallas- Ft. Worth Regional Airport Board and Greater Dallas Planning Council. He also served as the President of the SMU’s Dad’s Club and President of the SMU Alumni Association.
To read the obituary of Mr. Underwood, Click Here