Friday, February 15, 2019
Lyndon B. Johnson :: Biographies
Lyndon B. JohnsonEarly Life Johnson was born on Aug. 27, 1908, near Johnson City, Tex., the firstson of surface-to-air missile Ealy Johnson, Jr., and Rebekah Baines Johnson. His father, astruggling farmer and cattle piston in the hill country of Texas,provided only an uncertain income for his family. Politically active, SamJohnson served five terms in the Texas legislature. His mother had variedcultural interests and situated high value on education she was fiercelyambitious for her children. Johnson attended public schools in Johnson City and received a B.S.degree from southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos. He thentaught for a year in Houston before going to Washington in 1931 assecretary to a Democratic Texas congressman, Richard M. Kleberg. Duringthe next 4 years Johnson developed a round-eyed network of political contacts inWashington, D.C. On Nov. 17, 1934, he married Claudia Alta Taylor, cogniseas Lady Bird. A fightm, intelligent, ambitious woma n, she was a great additionto Johnsons career. They had two daughters, Lynda Byrd, born in 1944, andLuci Baines, born in 1947. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the clean-living House. Johnson greatly admired the president, who named him, at age27, to head the National spring chicken Administration in Texas. This job, whichJohnson held from 1935 to 1937, entailed helping young people obtain mesh and schooling. It confirmed Johnsons faith in the positivepotential of government and won for him a group of supporters in Texas. In 1937, Johnson sought and won a Texas seat in Congress, where hechampioned public works, reclamation, and public power programs. When warcame to Europe he backed Roosevelts efforts to aid the Allies. DuringWorld War II he served a brief tour of active duty with the U.S. dark blue inthe Pacific (1941-42) but returned to Capitol Hill when Roosevelt recalledmembers of Congress from active duty. Johnson proceed to supportRoosevelts military and fo reign-policy programs. During the 1940s,Johnson and his wife developed profitable business ventures, including aradio station, in Texas. In 1948 he ran for the U.S. Senate, winning theDemocratic political party primary by only 87 votes. (This was his second try in1941 he had run for the Senate and lost to a conservative opponent.) Theopposition incriminate him of fraud and tagged him Landslide Lyndon. Althoughchallenged, unsuccessfully, in the courts, he took office in 1949.Senator and Vice-President. --------------------------- Johnson moved quickly into the Senate hierarchy.