Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. The event thrust Lyndon Johnson into the presidency. A man widely considered to be one of the most expert and brilliant politicians of his time, Johnson would leave office a … more life in brief » Essays about Lyndon B. Johnson Life in Brief Life in Brief: On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. The event thrust Lyndon Johnson into the presidency. A man widely considered to be one of the most expert and brilliant politicians of his time, Johnson would leave office a little more than five years later as one of the le… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: Lyndon Baines Johnson was pure Texan. His family included some of the earliest settlers of the Lone Star State. They had been cattlemen, cotton farmers, and soldiers for the Confederacy. Lyndon was born in 1908 to Sam and Rebekah Baines Johnson, the first of their five children. His mother was reser… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1964: Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention (August 27, 1964) Presidential Speech Archive Lyndon Johnson's nomination for the top spot on the Democratic ticket in 1964 was a foregone conclusion, with his glittering l…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: The Lyndon Johnson presidency marked a vast expansion in the role of the national government in domestic affairs. Johnson laid out his vision of that role in a commencement speech at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964. He called on the nation to move not only toward "the rich society an…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: The major initiative in the Lyndon Johnson presidency was the Vietnam War. By 1968, the United States had 548,000 troops in Vietnam and had already lost 30,000 Americans there. Johnson's approval ratings had dropped from 70 percent in mid-1965 to below 40 percent by 1967, and with it, his ma…Life After the Presidency Life After the Presidency: Johnson's health had always been uncertain, and by the time he retired from office, he was not a well man. He spent his remaining years at his beloved ranch in Texas, tending to his investments, preparing his memoirs, and overseeing development of his presidential library. The memoirs, called Th…Family Life Family Life: Both of the Johnson children, Lynda and Luci, were married during their father's presidency, one of them in a simple White House ceremony. With the war overseas, the Johnson family cut back on the lavish entertaining that had been a Kennedy hallmark. There were occasional barbecues at the White…The American Franchise The American Franchise: There is an eloquent irony in the fact that it took a southern President to enact civil rights legislation in America. Lyndon Johnson's triumphs in this critical area emboldened minorities to assert themselves more strongly in society, and he must be considered a major player in it. He also nomi…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: Lyndon Johnson's presidency began and ended with tragedy. He came into office after the death of a popular young President and provided needed continuity and stability. He advanced the Kennedy legacy, obtaining far more than Kennedy would likely have gotten out of Congress, and then won a huge l… About His Administration First Lady Claudia Johnson Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1963–1969) Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford (1968–1969) Robert S. McNamara (1963–1968) Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (1963–1969) Attorney General Ramsey Clark (1967–1969) Nicholas Katzenbach (1965–1967) Robert F. Kennedy (1963–1965) Postmaster General W. Marvin Watson (1968–1969) Lawrence F. O'Brien (1965–1968) John A. Gronouski (1963–1965) Secretary of the Treasury Joseph Barr (1968–1969) Henry H. Fowler (1965–1968) C. Douglas Dillon (1963–1965) Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz (1963–1969) Secretary of Commerce Cyrus R. Smith (1968–1969) Alexander B. Trowbridge (1967–1968) John T. Connor (1965–1967) Luther H. Hodges (1963–1965) Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman (1963–1969) Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Wilbur J. Cohen (1968–1969) John W. Gardner (1965–1968) Anthony J. Celebrezze (1963–1965) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Robert C. Wood (1969) Robert C. Weaver (1966–1969) Secretary of Transportion Alan S. Boyd (1967–1969) Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Recordings Johnson Conversation with Machine Noise on May 05, 1965 (WH6505.05) Johnson Conversation with George Reedy on Sep 03, 1964 (WH6409.05) Johnson Conversation with Office Noise on Mar 31, 1965 (WH6503.16) Johnson Conversation with A. Philip Randolph on Nov 29, 1963 (K6311.05) Johnson Conversation with Machine Noise on Aug 31, 1964 (WH6408.43) view all recordings » Facts about Lyndon B. Johnson Term: 36th President of the United States (1963 – 1969) Born: August 27, 1908, Johnson City, Texas Political Party: Democrat Died: January 22, 1973 Nickname: “LBJ” Education: Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University-San Marcos), graduated 1930; Georgetown Law School, attended 1934 Religion: Disciples of Christ Marriage: November 17, 1934, to Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor (1912–2007) Children: Lynda Bird (1944– ); Luci Baines (1947– ) Career: Teacher, Public Official Buried: Near Johnson City, Texas WritingsThe Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963–1969 (1971) Lyndon B. Johnson Image Gallery More images » Lyndon B. Johnson Exhibits ‘“The Greatest Man In The World”’ On May 1, 1964, the Baltimore Sun had reported that President Johnson "dressed down" Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (the Democratic floor leader on the Senate civil rights bill) for suggesting that President Johnson might be willing to accept amendments to the version of the bill passed by the House. The Sun indicated that upon hearing of Humphrey's comments, Johnson called the senator and gave him "unshirted hell." Following the call from the President, Humphrey issued a clarification in which he stated that the President "is for the House bill." Later in the day, however, Humphrey turned to the Senate press gallery, smiled, and pulled on the tops of his ears. Reporters who saw the gesture interpreted it as an imitation of a beagle being lifted by the President, a reference to a controversial incident in which Johnson had picked up his dogs by their ears at a recent White House event as well as an indication that Johnson had disciplined the civil rights floor leader for his earlier comments. In this conversation, Johnson and Humphrey discuss the source of the "unshirted hell" story. Two passages are particularly noteworthy. First, Johnson observed that in contrast to Humphrey, he had little credibility with civil rights activists as a result of his southern background. Second, Johnson attempted to convince Humphrey that he was primarily concerned with developing the senator's status and reputation, rather than demeaning him. The comments reflected not only the crucial North-South divide in the battle over the civil rights legislation, but also the President’s effort to control a senator who was already a leading candidate for the vice presidential nomination. ‘LBJ and Richard Russell on Vietnam (long version)’ Just prior to 11 a.m., the President placed a call to his friend, mentor, and sometime antagonist, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. In this conversation, Johnson reveals his deeply conflicted thinking on Vietnam, a profound sense of anxiety absent from his public remarks on the subject. The exchange offers an intimate and revealing portrait of Johnson weighing perhaps the most difficult decision he ever had to make. ‘“These Covert Operations”’ Following an attack on the U.S.S. Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf, President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara strategize on how best to inform Congress of the circumstances surrounding the attack. ‘LBJ and Richard Russell on Vietnam’ Just prior to 11 a.m., the President placed a call to his friend, mentor, and sometime antagonist, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. In this conversation, Johnson reveals his deeply conflicted thinking on Vietnam, a profound sense of anxiety absent from his public remarks on the subject. The exchange offers an intimate and revealing portrait of Johnson weighing perhaps the most difficult decision he ever had to make. more exhibits » Featured video: Speech Before Congress on Voting Rights (March 15, 1965) Presidential Speech Archive Citation Information Consulting Editor Kent Germany Professor Germany is an assistant professor of history and African American studies at the University of South Carolina. His writings include: New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great Society (University of Georgia Press, 2007) Richard Nixon » « John F. Kennedy American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!