The Highwaymen just hit Netflix, telling the story of the two lawmen who tracked down and stopped the famous bank robbers Bonnie & Clyde.
However, a new character showed up named Governor Ma Ferguson, and many people wondered if she was based on a real-life person.
She was and her name was Miriam A. Ferguson.
Who is Governor Ma Ferguson
Governor Ma Ferguson features on The Highwaymen as one of the politicians who wanted to stop Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.
In real life, her name was Miriam “Ma” Ferguson. She was the first female governor of Texas.
In 1924, Ma Ferguson ran for the governor position in Texas after her husband Jim Ferguson was impeached for misapplication of public funds. He was banned from ever running for office again.
As a result, his wife ran and said that if the voters elected her, it would restore the honor of her husband. Her husband said he would governor behind her if she was elected and she won the election.
Governor Ma Ferguson was only the second female to ever governor a state at the time.
She served one term but there were claims of corruption and she lost the reelection. She ran again in the next election and won a second term. She held office twice and no other woman served as governor of Texas again until Ann Richards 60 years later.
She opened up people’s eyes about females in politics. She also turned the University of Houston into a four-year university.
Miriam "Ma" Ferguson served two non-consecutive terms as the first woman governor of Texas, taking on issues such as prohibition and the Ku Klux Klan. Home movies provide an intimate glimpse of her life → https://t.co/hbj4a9jPAb #WHM pic.twitter.com/slOfliX9tV
— TAMI (@texasarchive) March 29, 2019
Ma Ferguson in The Highwaymen
Kathy Bates plays Ma Ferguson in The Highwaymen on Netflix.
In real life, it was Governor Ma Ferguson that came up with the idea to create the special force to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. The two men in The Highwaymen, portrayed by Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, were Texas Rangers assigned to hunt down the outlaws.
The Highwaymen chose not to focus on Bonnie and Clyde, two murderers who became celebrities, and instead focused on the lawmen who stopped them. These men were sent out by Governor Ma Ferguson.
The Highwaymen is streaming live on Netflix.