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About Marvin Hurley

About the Role

Marvin Hurley grew up on farm in Arkansas and completed his formal education with a degree from Arkansas Polytechnic College and two degrees from the University of Arkansas. The former honored him in its Hall of Distinction, the later conferred on him a Distinguished Alumnus Citation. 

He began his career in nonprofit management in 1935 and served Chambers of Commerce in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Lincoln, Nebraska as well as Executive Vice President of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. 

In 1947, he joined the staff of the Houston Chamber of Commerce and became its Executive Vice President in 1951.  He served in that position until 1966.  He headed his state, regional and national professional organizations. 

Hurley wrote or edited several books on Chamber of Commerce management:  Chamber of Commerce Administration in 1942, co-authored Chamber of Commerce Administrationin 1951 and was the editor of a project in 1960 to create Chamber of Commerce Management, which was used several years as part of the curriculum at the U. S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational management. 

His final book relating the tremendous growth and impact of the Houston area and the efforts of the Houston Chamber was published in 1966, Decisive years for Houston. 

As the EVP of the Houston Chamber, he was instrumental in the Chamber’s success in the development of Houston, which almost doubled in population during his tenure with the Chamber.  One of the most significant achievements happened in 1961 when the national Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Houston would be its headquarters.  The Chamber’s Industrial Division worked with key Houston leadership to assist in making this happen! 

In his 1966 memoir, Decisive Years for Houston, Houston Chamber of Commerce executive director Marvin Hurley writes, “Early in June, while on a trip to Washington, I heard rumors of some type of new installation for the nation’s space effort and made calls at the office of Vice President Johnson and upon Congressmen Albert Thomas and Bob Casey. While the project was still in the planning stage, I was assured that Houston would receive consideration as a location for the project. I was advised that Houston should make every effort to convince any site-selection team visiting the area that it could fully and completely meet the criteria that would be under investigation”. He succeeded in getting NASA located in Houston!

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