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  1. Lyndon B. Johnson

    Lyndon B. Johnson

    President of the United States from 1963 to 1969

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  1. Lyndon Baines Johnson ( / ˈlɪndən ˈbeɪnz /; August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969.

    • Overview
    • Early life
    • Career in Congress
    • Vice presidency

    Lyndon B. Johnson, frequently called LBJ, was an American politician and moderate Democrat who was president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. He was born on August 27, 1908, and died on January 22, 1973.

    How did Lyndon B. Johnson become president?

    Lyndon B. Johnson was elected vice president of the United States alongside President John F. Kennedy in 1960 and acceded to the presidency upon Kennedy's assassination in 1963. He was president from 1963 to 1969.

    What did Lyndon B. Johnson do as president?

    As president, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, into law; he also greatly expanded American involvement in the Vietnam War despite national opposition.

    Why didn’t Lyndon B. Johnson seek another term as president?

    Johnson, the first of five children, was born in a three-room house in the hills of south-central Texas to Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., a businessman and member of the Texas House of Representatives, and Rebekah Baines Johnson, who was a daughter of state legislator Joseph Baines and had studied at Baylor Female College (now the University of Mary Hardin...

    After graduating from college in 1930, Johnson won praise as a teacher of debate and public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston. That same year he participated in the congressional campaign of Democrat Richard Kleberg (son of the owner of the King Ranch, the largest ranch in the continental United States), and upon Kleberg’s election he accompanied the new congressman to Washington, D.C., in 1931 as his legislative assistant. While in Washington, Johnson worked tirelessly on behalf of Kleberg’s constituents and quickly developed a thorough grasp of congressional politics.

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    In 1934, in San Antonio, Texas, Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor, known from childhood as “Lady Bird.” A recent graduate of the University of Texas, where she had finished near the top of her class, Lady Bird Johnson was a much-needed source of stability in her husband’s life as well as a shrewd judge of people.

    In Washington, Johnson’s political career blossomed rapidly after he was befriended by fellow Texan Sam Rayburn, the powerful chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce and later Democratic leader of the House of Representatives. Following two years as director of the National Youth Administration in Texas (1935–37), he ran successfully for a seat in the House as a supporter of the New Deal policies of Democratic Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. He represented his district in the House for most of the next 12 years, interrupting his legislative duties for six months in 1941–42 to serve as lieutenant commander in the navy—thereby becoming the first member of Congress to serve on active duty in World War II. While on an observation mission over New Guinea, Johnson’s plane survived an attack by Japanese fighters, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur awarded Johnson the Silver Star for gallantry. Johnson proudly wore the decoration in his lapel for the rest of his life.

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    At the Democratic convention in 1960, Johnson lost the presidential nomination to John F. Kennedy on the first ballot, 809 votes to 409. He then surprised many both inside and outside the party when he accepted Kennedy’s invitation to join the Democratic ticket as the vice presidential candidate. Overcoming his disappointment at not heading the ticket himself, he campaigned energetically, and many observers felt that without his presence Kennedy could not have carried Texas, Louisiana, and the Carolinas, states that were essential to his victory over the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon.

    Johnson was generally uncomfortable in his role as vice president. His legendary knowledge of Congress went largely unused, despite Kennedy’s failure to push through his own legislative program. Although he served on the National Security Council and was appointed chairman of some important committees—such as the National Aeronautics and Space Council, the Peace Corps Advisory Council, and the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity—Johnson regarded most of his assignments as busywork, and he was convinced that the president was ignoring him. His frustration was compounded by the apparent disdain with which he was regarded by some prominent members of the Kennedy administration—including the president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who later regarded LBJ, with his Texas drawl and crude, occasionally scatological sense of humour, as the “usurper” of Kennedy’s Camelot. Johnson, in turn, envied President Kennedy’s handsome appearance and his reputation for urbanity and sophisticated charm. Despite Johnson’s physically imposing presence (he stood six feet three inches [nearly two metres] tall and usually weighed more than 200 pounds [more than 90 kg]), he suffered from deep-seated feelings of inferiority, which his dealings with the Kennedys—the scions of the “Eastern establishment”—seemed to make all the more acute. As he frequently said, it was his curse to have hailed from “the wrong part of the country.”

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  2. Apr 2, 2014 · Famous Political Figures. U.S. Presidents. Lyndon B. Johnson was elected vice president of the United States in 1960 and became the 36th president in 1963, following the assassination of John...

    • LBJ: The Early Years. Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, near the central Texas community of Johnson City, which was named for his relatives.
    • Lady Bird Johnson. In 1931, Johnson moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as congressional secretary for newly elected U.S. Representative Richard Kleberg of Texas.
    • Congressional Career. Johnson’s political career began in earnest in 1937, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. Quickly earning respect as a smart and hardworking legislator, he was re-elected five times.
    • Johnson in the Senate. In 1948, Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate following a bruising Democratic primary. After crisscrossing Texas by helicopter, Johnson managed to eke out a victory in the primary by just 87 votes.
  3. Lyndon B. Johnson | The White House. The biography for President Johnson and past presidents is courtesy of the White House Historical Association. In the 1960 campaign, Lyndon B....

  4. Lyndon B. Johnson's tenure as the 36th president of the United States began on November 22, 1963, upon the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, and ended on January 20, 1969. He had been vice president for 1,036 days when he succeeded to the presidency.

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  6. The Early Years. Lyndon Baines Johnson was born just after the turn of the 20th century in the rugged and isolated Hill Country of Texas. It was a character-building, hardscrabble land where he learned the lessons of loyalty, the arts of persuasion and power, and the insecurity of lean times.

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