Richard Coke achieved prominence as a politician and jurist in the state of Texas.
Coke was born March 13, 1829, in Williams-burg, Virginia. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1849 and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1850. After a tour of military duty during the Civil War, Coke became a district court judge in 1865 and subsequently presided as an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1866 to 1867.
In 1874 Coke was elected governor of Texas. Two years later he became a member of the U.S. Senate, representing Texas until 1894.
He died May 14, 1897, in Waco, Texas.