Hightower was a fairly moderate Democrat, and served a mostly rural district stretching from Amarillo to Wichita Falls on the east. The district had become increasingly friendly to Republicans at the national level, though Democrats continued to hold most local offices well into the 1990s. Hightower was reelected four times, mainly by stressing constituent services. However, in 1984, he was toppled by Republican challenger Beau Boulter of Amarillo, who benefited from Ronald W. Reagan's massive reelection landslide that year. After he left Congress, Hightower was the first assistant attorney general of Texas under Attorney General Jim Mattox from 1985 to 1987, then was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1988. In 1992, he obtained an LLM from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was later appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, a position which he held from August 9, 1999, to July 19, 2004. A Freemason, Jack Hightower was a member of Vernon Lodge #655 and in 1972 served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Until his death, he had been the oldest living past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Hightower died on August 3, 2013 in Austin.
30° 15.904, -097° 43.611
Texas State Cemetery