AUSTIN, TX (KLTV) - Who's the top Texan in the state's history?
Sixty-four Texans faced off this year but Stephen F. Austin pulled off an upset win, beating out Sam Houston in this year's Top Texan Tournament.
Each year the General Land Office holds a bracket-style competition. The GLO says the competition is designed to encourage Texans to learn more about the state's historical figures.
Austin pulled off what some might consider an upset victory since Sam Houston was a favorite to win for the third year in a row. Austin received 235 votes, surpassing other famous "Final Four" contenders Houston, William B. Travis and Audie Murphey.
"Stephen F. Austin is revered as the Father of Texas for good reason," Commissioner George P. Bush said in a GLO news release. "He was a pioneer in his day, undertaking the painstaking work of colonizing Texas and building a nation from wilderness. Today his legacy includes yet another victory: winner of the 2018 Top Texan competition."
Although they're listed as rivals in the tournament, historians say the men had great respect for each other in life.
"Upon hearing of Austin's death, Houston remarked, 'The Father of Texas is no more.' Austin's quiet, competent, earnest, and thoughtful leadership contributed greatly to the establishment of Texas as we know it today," said James Harkins, director of public services for the GLO's Archives and Records department.
Other noteworthy Texans who got knocked out in earlier rounds include founder of 'Beauty by Mary Kay' Mary Kay Ash; musician Willie Nelson; Dorothea Towles, a Wiley College graduate who became known as the first internationally-recognized African American fashion model; and LuLu Bell Madison White, the state director of the NAACP from 1949 until her death in 1957.