Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007

Alternative names
Birth 1912-12-22
Death 2007-07-11

Biographical notes:

Lady Bird Johnson was born Claudia Alta Taylor in Karnack, Texas on December 22, 1912. He parents were Thomas Jefferson Taylor and Minnie Pattillo Taylor, and she had two older brothers, Tommy and Tony. Her mother died when she was only five years old, and her Aunt Effie Pattillo moved to Karnack to look after her. At an early age, a nursemaid said she was "as purty as a lady bird," and thereafter she became known to her family and friends as Lady Bird. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1928, and attended Saint Mary''s Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas from 1928 to 1930. She received a B.A. in history from the University of Texas in 1933, and she earned a journalism degree in 1934. She married Lyndon Baines Johnson on November 17, 1934 at Saint Mark''s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas. They had two daughters: Lynda Bird (b. 1944) and Luci Baines (b. 1947). During her White House years, Mrs. Johnson served as honorary chairman of the National Head Start Program, a program for underprivileged pre-school children. In 1966, she was presented the George Foster Peabody Award for the television program, "A Visit to Washington with Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson on Behalf of a More Beautiful America," and in 1968 she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Golden Candlestick Award from the Women''s National Press Club. In January 1971, she was appointed to a six-year term as a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents. She was a life member of the University of Texas Ex-Student Association, and was a member of the International Conference Steering Committee (1981-1982) and the University of Texas Centennial Commission. For many years, she was a trustee of the National Geographic Society. She also served as a member of the National Committee for the Bicentennial Era and was co-chairman of the Advisory Council of the American Freedom Train Foundation. She was appointed to the Advisory Council to the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration by President Ford. In 1977, President Gerald R. Ford presented Mrs. Johnson with this country''s highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the President''s Commission on White House Fellowships. President Ronald Reagan presented Mrs. Johnson with the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988. Lady Bird Johnson was an avid environmentalist. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was the result of her national campaign for beautification. She was honorary chairman of the LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac in Washington, D.C. She became a member of the National Park Service''s Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings and Monuments in 1969 and served on the council for many years. On her 70th birthday in 1982, Mrs. Johnson founded the National Wildflower Research Center, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the preservation and re-establishment of native plants in natural and planned landscapes. She donated 60 acres of land and a sum of money to establish the Center. In honor of her 80th birthday, the Lady Bird Johnson Conservation Award was established in 1992 by the LBJ Foundation Board of Directors. Lady Bird Johnson wrote A White House Diary, a record of her activities which she kept during the years her husband served as the 36th President of the United States. She also co-authored a book with Carlton Lees, entitled Wildflowers Across America. Lady Bird Johnson died on July 11, 2007.

From the description of Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10679515


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  • West Lake Hills, TX, US
  • United States, 00, US
  • Texas, TX, US