While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Michael M. Miller

SHELTON, GEORGE LEE, JR. (1922–1992). George Lee Shelton, Jr., a longtime Dallas physician and leader in the black community, was born in Vernon, Texas, on June 22, 1922. He was the son of George Lee Shelton, Sr. George Jr. was a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. In the late 1940s, Shelton began his medical practice in Dallas with fellow physician Emmett Conrad. They offered their services to the South Dallas black community from offices on the 4300 block of Oakland Avenue. Patients were many, and payment often came in the form of a litter of puppies or a plate of cupcakes. Shelton earned a strong reputation as a caring and dedicated physician and even made house calls.

In June 1954 Shelton joined four other men to make Dallas history in becoming the first black doctors to practice at St. Paul’s Hospital. The group enjoyed most privileges at the hospital—the obstetrics department was barred to them apparently due to overcrowding—but hospital rules stipulated that only members of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Dallas County Medical Association (DCMA) could join the facility medical staff. After these organizations removed their white-only restrictions, Shelton, his original four colleagues, and two other local doctors were granted staff membership at St. Paul’s. Physicians Emmett J. Conrad and Benjamin E. Howell joined doctors William K. Flowers, Jr., Frank H. Jordan, Lee G. Pinkston, and Joseph Ralph Williams, along with Shelton, in their election by the hospital board. Dallas’s eighteen black physicians at the time chose the first applicants from among their colleagues. Conrad, the only surgeon in the group, eventually became the hospital’s chief of staff in 1980.

Shelton served in leadership positions in many community and fund raising organizations, including the United Fund, the Youth Foundation, the Greater Dallas YMCA, and the American Cancer Society. He held membership in a number of fraternal and professional organizations, including the Idle-wild Cotillion Club, Dallas’s oldest African-American men’s organization; Psi Beta Sigma; the American Academy of Family Physicians; C. V. Roman Medical Society; and the Dallas County Medical Society. Shelton also served on the board of Dallas’s first integrated bank, Liberty National Bank of Dallas, when it opened in a temporary location at 2610 Forest Avenue in 1964. In 1973 the South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club honored Shelton with their Community Service Award, and in 2009 Dallas’s Park Board and community organizers unveiled a monument to Shelton and other leading black Dallas citizens in Opportunity Park on the city’s south side.

Shelton was married to Maxine McGaughey, a Prairie View A&M nursing graduate, for forty-eight years. The couple reared four daughters: Karen, Helen, Georgetta, and Jewel. Shelton died from diabetes complications at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas on March 24, 1992, at the age of sixty-nine. His wife died just a few days later after suffering an asthma attack at her husband’s wake. On March 31, 1992, mourners attended a joint funeral for the couple at Glendale Presbyterian Church. The Sheltons were interred alongside one another at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery.


Dallas Morning News, March 27, 29, 1992. Mamie L. McKnight, ed., African American Families and Settlements of Dallas: On the Inside Looking Out (Dallas: Black Dallas Remembered, Incorporated, 1990).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Michael M. Miller, "SHELTON, GEORGE LEE," accessed June 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsh81.

Uploaded on July 24, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...