Former Democratic Gov. Price Daniel Sr., who served Texas for more than 40 years in all three branches of state government, died early Thursday at a hospital. He was 77.

George Christian, a former press secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson and a friend of the Daniel family, said the former governor died about 1 a.m. at Kirsting Memorial Hospital in Liberty.Daniel became ill at his ranch outside of Liberty and may have suffered a stroke, Christian said.

Daniel was elected a state representative when he 29 years old, became speaker of the Texas House at 32, state attorney general at 36, U.S. senator at 42 and three-term governor at 46. He was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court when he was 61.

Daniel resigned from the Senate to run for governor in 1956. He was elected, succeeding Gov. Allan Shivers, and re-elected in 1958 and 1960. But in 1962, seeking an unprecedented fourth term, he finished third in a three-man Democratic Primary race behind John Connally and Don Yarborough.