Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson (December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was First Lady of the United States (1963–69), as the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Notably well-educated for a woman of her era, she proved a capable manager and a shrewd investor. After marrying LBJ in 1934 when he was a political hopeful in Austin, Texas, she used a modest inheritance to bankroll his congressional campaign, and then ran his office while he served in the navy. Next, she bought a radio station and then a TV station, which soon made them millionaires. As First Lady, she broke new ground by interacting directly with Congress, employing her own press secretary, and making a solo electioneering tour.

Johnson was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation's cities and highways ("Where flowers bloom, so does hope") and the Highway Beautification Act was informally known as Lady Bird's Bill. She was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honors. She is a descendant of Rowland Taylor through his grandson Captain Thomas J. Taylor, II.

By Dean Hanley

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