LYNDON B JOHNSON
Johnson was born on Aug.
27, 1908, near Johnson City, Tex., the
eldest son of Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., and Rebekah Baines Johnson.
father, a struggling farmer and cattle speculator in the hill country
of Texas, provided only an uncertain income for his family.
Politically active, Sam Johnson served five terms in the Texas
His mother had varied cultural interests and placed high
value on education
Johnson attended public schools in Johnson City and received a B.S.
degree from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos.
then taught for a year in Houston before going to Washington in 1931 as
secretary to a Democratic Texas congressman, Richard M.
During the next 4 years Johnson developed a wide network of political
contacts in Washington, D.C.
17, 1934, he married Claudia
Alta Taylor, known as "Lady Bird." A warm, intelligent, ambitious
woman, she was a great asset to Johnson's career.
They had two
daughters, Lynda Byrd, born in 1944, and Luci Baines, born in 1947.
1933, Franklin D.
Roosevelt entered the White House.
admired the president, who named him, at age 27, to head the National
Youth Administration in Texas.
This job, which Johnson held from 1935
to 1937, entailed helping young people obtain employment and schooling.
It confirmed Johnson's faith in the positive potential of government
and won for him a group of supporters in Texas.
In 1937, Johnson sought and won a Texas seat in Congress, where he
championed public works, reclamation, and public power programs.
war came to Europe he backed Roosevelt's efforts to aid the Allies.
During World War II he served a brief tour of active duty with the U.S.
Navy in the Pacific (1941-42) but returned to Capitol Hill when
Roosevelt recalled members of Congress from active duty.
continued to support Roosevelt's military and foreign-policy programs.
During the 1940s, Johnson and his wife developed profitable business
ventures, including a radio station, in Texas.
In 1948 he ran for the
Senate, winning the Democratic party primary by only 87 votes.
(This was his second try
a conservative opponent.) The opposition accused him of fraud and
tagged him "Landslide Lyndon." Although challenged, unsuccessfully, in
the courts, he took office in 1949.
Senator and Vice-President.