Each year since 1974, the Texas Legislative Conference has honored one living Texan for their commitment to public service for the benefit of the state of Texas. The conference is an organization of Texas business and political leaders that meets annually in New Braunfels to discuss policy issues.

Brig. Gen. Charles Duke, the 2020 Texan of the Year, received the award at Space Center Houston and will be honored March 26 at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center, 375 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels.

Duke joins prominent past Texan of the Year honorees, such as President George W. Bush, House Representative Barbara Jordan and musician George Strait.

“General duke is one of a mere dozen humans to have ever walked on the surface of the Moon and looked back toward Earth,” Conference Chair E. Ray Covey of AEP Texas said in a press release. “His perspectives are unique and his efforts have paved the way for tremendous advancements in science and technology that we all enjoy today.”

Duke was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966 and served as capsule communication for Apollo 11 and lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. He is also the youngest of 12 people who have walked on the moon.

Originally from South Carolina, Duke and his wife, Dorothy, have lived in Texas since 1975 and co-authored the book "Moonwalker" in 1990. Duke is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served as a fighter interceptor pilot with the 526th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ramstein Air Base.

“General Duke is a pioneer, who embodies the spirit of ingenuity and discovery,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of the science and space exploration learning center Space Center Houston, in a press release.

To register for tickets for the March 26 Texan of the Year Reception in New Braunfels, visit www.txlegislativeconference.com.