About Nelson Wolff

Nelson W. Wolff has represented Bexar County in state, city and county political offices since 1971, when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He then was elected to the Texas Senate in 1973, the San Antonio City Council in 1987 and then served as Mayor of San Antonio from 1991 to 1995. He currently serves as Bexar County Judge, a position he was appointed to in 2001 and has since been elected to three times, most recently in November 2010. He is only the second person in more than a century to serve as both Mayor of San Antonio and Bexar County Judge.

Before entering politics, Nelson was a successful small business owner.  In 1961, Wolff, his father and two brothers formed Alamo Enterprises Building Supplies, which they grew to an eight-store chain before selling in 1977. A year later with his brothers George and Gary, Wolff founded Sun Harvest Farms, a successful chain of natural food stores. They sold the nine-store chain in 1999.

Wolff has authored four books and is an avid reader and collector of 20th Century first editions. Challenge of Change, published in 1975, is about Wolff’s experience in the Texas Legislature and the Constitutional Convention he participated in and for which he was largely responsible. Baseball for Real Men reflects on life and Wolff’s love of the game. Mayor: An Inside View of San Antonio Politics 1981-1995 takes a look at local politics during his and Henry Cisneros’ years leading the city. Wolff’s most recent book Transforming San Antonio: An Insider’s View of the AT&T Center, Toyota, the PGA Village and the River Walk Extension explores the four major developments in recent history that have provided urban renewal and growth for the city.

Wolff holds a bachelor of business administration from St. Mary’s University and a doctorate of jurisprudence from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Throughout his life, Wolff has excelled in both politics and business.

Wolff and his wife, Tracy, together have six children and six grandchildren.

Community Boards and Commissions

  • Board of Directors – International Bank of Commerce, San Antonio – Chairman

Former Community Boards and Commissions

  • Board of Directors – Free Trade Alliance – Chairman
  • Board of Directors – Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce – Chairman
  • Board of Directors – St. Mary’s University
  • Board of Directors – World Affairs Council – Chairman and Co-Founder
  • Board of Directors – San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Trustees – City Public Service, San Antonio – Chairman
  • Board of Trustees – San Antonio Medical Foundation
  • Board of Directors – San Antonio Mobility Coalition (SAMCo) – Chair
  • Board of Trustees – San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative (SATAI) – Co-Chair
  • Board of Directors – Metropolitan Partnership for Energy (MPE) – Chairman
  • Board of Trustees – Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio
  • Board of Advisors – Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Young Man of the Year – San Antonio Jaycees
  • World Affairs Council International Citizen of the Year
  • Boys and Girls Club National Hall of Fame
  • Outstanding Citizenship Award – Council of Churches
  • San Antonio’s baseball field is named Nelson W. Wolff Stadium
  • St. Mary’s University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
  • Humanitarian Award – National Jewish Medical and Research Center
  • St. Mary’s University School of Law Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
  • Inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame
  • Women in Communication Headliner Award for Public Endeavors
  • Good Scout Award – Boy Scouts
  • Amistad Award – Mexican Consulate of San Antonio
  • Roadhand Award – Texas Department of Transportation
  • Junior Achievement Award
  • UTSA President’s Award
  • Russell H. Perry Award – Texas Department of Transportation
  • Henry B. Gonzalez Award – St. Mary’s University Law Alumni Association
  • Legacy Leader – San Antonio Business Journal

Published Books

  • Challenge of Change, 1975
  • Mayor, 1997
  • Baseball for Real Men, 2000
  • Transforming San Antonio, 2008

Service in State, City and County Political Offices:

  • Texas House of Representatives, 1971 – 1973
  • Texas Senate, 1973 – 1975
  • City of San Antonio City Council, 1987 – 1991
  • Mayor of City of San Antonio, 1991 – 1995
    • County Judge of Bexar County, 2001 – Present
  • Appointed in 2001 and elected three times in 2002, 2006, and 2010
  • Only second person in over a century to serve as both Mayor of San Antonio and Bexar County Judge

In service to Bexar County and City of San Antonio Citizens, Wolff has overseen and advocated for…

  • Job Creation and Economic Development
    • In the past 5 years, new private investment of more than $3.5 billion in the region with nearly 15,000 new jobs created
  • Flood Control
    • San Pedro Creek
    • Mission Reach
  • Transportation
    • Highway 1604 and 281 interchange
    • Restructure Alamo Regional Mobility Authority to save on overhead expenses and directly increase traffic capacity on the North Side
  • Quality of Life
    • Community Venues
    • Bexar County Games
    • BiblioTech
    • Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
    • Briscoe Museum
    • Alameda
    • Improvements to San Antonio Museum of Art, the Witte, and the McNay
    • Expanding the music scene
  • Health Care – University Health Systems
    • Robert B. Green Campus – outpatient center downtown
    • State-of-the-art Trauma Towner – opening in early 2013
  • Mayor Wolff
    • Oversaw establishment of UTSA Downtown Campus
    • Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, home to the San Antonio Missions
    • San Antonio Public Library Central Branch
    • New City Hall Chambers in Municipal Plaza Building
    • Largest Parks Bond in City History

Background

  • Bachelor’s of Business Administration, St. Mary’s University
  • Doctorate of Jurisprudence, St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Long history of local family owned and operated businesses, including Alamo Enterprises Building Supplies, Sun Harvest Farms, and Greenfields Market
  • Together, Nelson and his wife, Tracy have six children and six grandchildren