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On the Way

On the Way
My Life and Times

This autobiography recounts the life and career of Frank Denius, an illustrious World War II veteran, high-profile lawyer, and major supporter of the University of Texas at Austin.

Series: Tower Books Imprint

Briscoe Center for American History
October 2016
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304 pages | 6 x 9 | 55 b&w photos |

Frank Denius was not yet twenty-one when he fought his way across Europe and was awarded four Silver Stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, and two Purple Hearts. On the Way describes Denius’s formative experiences during World War II in gripping detail and will cause any reader to wonder how he or she might have held up under similar pressure. The powerful opening chapters are followed by a detailed account of Denius’s life and career after the war, assembled into a first-person memoir from conversations between Denius and Thomas Hatfield, and published by the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Discharged from the army in October 1945, Denius enrolled at the University of Texas within a week. He is a lifelong supporter of the university: as part of the Texas Exes, as a donor to numerous academic programs, and as a fan of Longhorn football. Former UT football coach Mack Brown liked to say, “Frank has been to more practices than I have.”

Denius graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and joined one of Austin’s leading law firms in the late 1940s. Denius recounts how Texas operated in Lyndon Johnson’s prime, observes power plays in the Texas energy industry, and describes his role in building a regional university into a global leader.


Austin, Texas

Originally from Athens, Texas, Denius is an Austin attorney, philanthropist, and former president of the Texas Exes. 

Austin, Texas

Hatfield is a UT Austin dean emeritus and director of UT’s Military History Institute at the Briscoe Center for American History.


“This book shows how growing up fast and responding with truth and judgment in a critical moment seventy years ago produced a man who contributed mightily to a sound society.”
Larry R. Faulkner, President Emeritus, the University of Texas at Austin, from the foreword