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 #10792 in Sep 1966 (WH6609.09) Johnson Conversation with Office Secretary on Apr 22, 1964 (WH6404.16) Johnson Conversation with Nicholas Katzenbach on Dec 03, 1965 (WH6512.02) Johnson Conversation with John McCloy on Apr 30, 1968 (WH6804.03) Johnson Conversation with John McCormack on Mar 25, 1965 (WH6503.13) 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 ‘Troop Levels’ Sending troops into harm's way is arguably the most difficult decision a president confronts. The White House tapes of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon capture remarkably intimate and candid behind-the-scenes views of presidents agonizing over this decision in another war fought in distant lands for complex geo-political reasons. ‘LBJ on Sargent Shriver, Politics, and the War on Poverty’ In late 1966, Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) Director (and Kennedy brother-in-law) Sargent Shriver contemplated resigning because of differences with the President over funding levels for the War on Poverty and frustration over perceptions that his effectiveness had diminished. In this conversation with Special Assistant Bill Moyers (who had recently submitted his own resignation), President Johnson expounded on the implications of a Shriver resignation, as well as on his views of the budgetary constraints on the War on Poverty, the consequences of street protests that cast the Vietnam War and the anti-poverty effort as mutually-exclusive budget items, and his difficulties with Robert F. Kennedy and other liberal Senators who supported an expanded poverty program. Near the close of this excerpt, Johnson commented on the lack of political pragmatism and reliability that he perceived among much of Shriver's staff at OEO, particularly in the still-controversial Community Action Program (CAP). ‘President Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. on the Watts Riots’ In this conversation excerpt, Martin Luther King Jr. and President Johnson discuss the implications of the recent Watts Riots. Although the United States had experienced a series of urban revolts during 1964 and 1965, the intensity and violence of Watts had been a shock to much of the nation and to LBJ in particular. The conversation reveals much of the balance between tension and cautious respect that characterized the King-Johnson relationship, as well as both men's growing sense of desperation in addressing the problems facing the United States. While King expressed his frustration with the unresponsive white leadership in Los Angeles, President Johnson appealed for King's support in pursuing his domestic policy agenda in an increasingly hostile Congress. ‘LBJ and Gerald Ford’ That morning's Washington Post carried a front page story of several members of Congress critical of the Johnson administration's campaign to bomb the North Vietnamese supply lines in Laos. Interviewed for the radio and television program "Issues and Answers" (ABC), the new House Minority Leader, Gerald Ford (R-MI) (who had recently replaced Charles Halleck), criticized the way in which the administration informed Congress of the Laos expansion as coming in a "piecemeal" fashion. "Now that it has been disclosed piecemeal," Ford said, "I think that the Administration has a responsibility to open up, have some discussion about it, perhaps hold some hearings in the House or Senate in order that we are all better informed as to what our course, what our policies are." Senator Wayne Morse, Democrat of Oregon, was also critical, accusing the administration of following a "foreign policy of concealment in Southeast Asia." Morse claimed that neither he nor other Americans "know what the Administration is doing in Asia, to what it has committed us, what its objectives are, and how much it is risking to achieve them." ["U.S. Bombing in Laos Stirs Debate," Washington Post, January 19, 1965, p.A1.] 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!