Wendy Davis Early Biography
- Wendy Davis' parents separated for the final time when she was 11, and they were divorced by the time she was 13 years old. Even though the divorce settlement called for child support, Wendy's father was not able to provide significant income for the family.
- Wendy and her siblings were raised primarily by her mother, who had attended school only into the ninth grade, and whose own father had only a sixth grade education.
- Wendy's mother worked at a Braum's ice cream store to support the family. Wendy started working at age 14 to join her siblings in the support of the family.
- Despite the financial struggles at home, Wendy was a good student and attempted to attend to college after graduating high school. She was unable, however, to make ends meet economically, and left believing that a college education was just not available to her.
- Wendy left home at 17, married when she was 18 and had her first daughter Amber when she was 19. She and her husband lived in a trailer, and Wendy continued to live there with Amber after they were separated. As a single mother at age 19, she often struggled to make ends meet. Wendy filed for divorce when she was 20 and she and Amber lived for a short time with her mother. The divorce became final when she was 21.
- After learning about flexible class options from a Tarrant County College brochure, Wendy discovered that she could get back into college. She moved into an apartment with Amber and began attending classes while working multiple jobs.
- Tarrant County College gave her a gateway to higher education. She excelled in classes as she worked hard. She did well enough to get into Texas Christian University, which she attended with the help of financial aid and scholarships.
- While working at her father's dinner theater during college, Wendy met and later married Jeff Davis, a Fort Worth attorney. While married to Jeff Davis, Wendy had her second daughter Dru and continued to excel academically. She graduated first in her class from TCU. Wendy applied and was accepted to Harvard Law School. As Wendy has said before, Jeff helped her fulfill her dream of attending Harvard by cashing in a 401k and later they took out loans.
- While at Harvard, Wendy and Jeff arranged her schedule and that of her daughters, Amber and Dru, so that they could be together often. The girls lived in Boston during Wendy's first year. In subsequent semesters, Wendy commuted weekly and Wendy's mother played a daily caretaking role to assist the family.
- Following her graduation from Harvard, Wendy came home to Texas, completed a judicial clerkship, worked as a successful attorney at the law firm Haynes and Boone and later worked as an officer in their family's title company.
- Ultimately, Wendy's marriage to Jeff failed. The couple separated and shared custody of Dru who was still a minor. Dru lived in the family home with Jeff. After sometimes contentious proceedings, the divorce from Jeff became final and the two parents shared custody of their daughters Amber and Dru. Wendy was constantly present and sharing in the support and raising of her daughters as they grew up, attended college and have taken on jobs of their own.
- Wendy and her daughters remain very close. She and Jeff Davis have a healthy and respectful relationship based on their mutual love of their daughters.
Annie's List Executive Director Grace Garcia released this statement regarding the personal attacks against Wendy: