Lady Bird Johnson

Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912–, b. Karnack, Tex., as Claudia Alta Taylor. She married (1934) Lyndon B. Johnson and played an active role in his political career. As first lady (1963–69), she was the first to have her own press secretary and to make a campaign trip on her own. She also sponsored environmental causes and national beautification projects and later co-founded (1982) what is now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, Tex. A successful businesswoman, she bought (1943) a debt-ridden radio station in Austin, Tex., and built it into a multimillion dollar broadcasting company. Johnson also owned and managed extensive ranching lands in Texas. She was the author of A White House Diary (1970).

See M. L. Gillette, Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History (2012); biographies by M. D. Smith (1964), G. L. Hall (1967), and J. J. Russell (2012); L. I. Gould, Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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