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Insurance Commissioner Mattax Succumbs to Cancer at Age 60

Friday, April 14, 2017 | 2438 | 0 | 0 min read

Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax died Thursday morning following a battle with cancer, the governor’s office announced. Mattax was 60.

David Mattax

David Mattax

“A brilliant lawyer whose loyalty to Texas never wavered, David was a doting son and brother who took great pride in mentoring young lawyers who would become the leaders of tomorrow,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “David’s brilliance, wit and wisdom will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Cecilia and I extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Mattax family.” 

Texas Workers' Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan and former commissioner Albert Betts, now executive director of the Insurance Council of Texas, also issued statements expressing their regrets.

“I will miss Commissioner Mattax on both a personal and a professional level," Brannan said. "He was always supportive of our mission at DWC, and I could always count on him for his guidance and friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family today, and with all the TDI employees, past and present, who worked with him.”

Said Betts: "I had the pleasure of knowing David since working with him at the Attorney General’s Office in the early 1990s, and he was a good man, smart lawyer and great servant to the people of Texas. He will be missed."

Abbott appointed Mattax as insurance commissioner in January 2015. He also served as secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Before taking the commissioner’s post, Mattax worked 23 years for the Texas Attorney General’s Office. He began representing the Insurance Department in 1992 and worked with eight insurance commissioners on receiverships, Employee Income Retirement Security Act cases, rule-making, enforcement and other legal issues, according to a biography on the department’s website.

Matttax was deputy attorney general for defense litigation at his last position with the AG’s office. 

Mattax is a member of the finance committee, past co-chairman of the Amos Commission and past member of the board of trustees of University United Methodist Church.

He received a bachelor's degree in history, a bachelor’s in math, and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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