U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson Vital Statistics
About the U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, his birth and death date and location, date and highlights of his term.
LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON
Born: Aug. 27, 1908, in the vicinity of Johnson City, Tex., a poor farming community of 600 which was named for the President's grandfather, one of the original settlers. Though in later years LBJ liked to describe himself as "the son of a poor dirt farmer," his father was actually one of the town's leading citizens. Always hard pressed for money, Sam Ealy Johnson was a one-time real-estate speculator who served on the State Railroad Commission and as a member of the Texas legislature for 12 years. The day Lyndon was born, Sam told his neighbors: "A U.S. senator is born today." Johnson's mother used more poetic language to describe the event: "Now the light came in from the east, bringing a deep stillness, a stillness so profound and so pervasive that it seemed as if the earth itself were listening." Even before he became president, Johnson ordered the restoration of his boyhood home, located one block down Avenue G, the first turn-off on Highway 290 in Johnson City. The home is open to the public, and tours are conducted by local teenagers.
Died: Jan. 22, 1973, at the LBJ Ranch, the 360-acre retreat about 15 mi. from Johnson City that had been his home for 20 years. Johnson, who was 64, had been in almost constant pain during the last seven months of his life. After a heart attack in April, 1972, his arteriosclerosis grew steadily worse. "I'm hurting real bad," he confided to his friends, and he announced to all visitors to the ranch that his end was at hand. On the day of his death he ate a leisurely lunch, then put on his pajamas for his afternoon nap. Shortly after 3:30 P.M., he grabbed the bedside phone and gasped out his last words, "Send Mike Howard in here," a plea for help to Secret Service agents at another part of the ranch. By the time the men arrived with a portable oxygen machine, Johnson had collapsed on the floor with a heart attack. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a San Antonio hospital. Johnson had prophesied, "When [the Great Society] dies, I, too, will die." In fact, Johnson suffered his fatal heart attack the day after President Nixon announced plans which would essentially do away with the Great Society programs. A state funeral was held at the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 24. The following day, graveside services were performed at the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Tex., with Dr. Billy Graham officiating and Anita Bryant singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." He is buried near the gnarled old oak in the tiny family cemetery, about 100 yd. from his birthplace. At the time of his death, Johnson's personal fortune was estimated at well over $20 million, including land, cattle, airplanes, banks, and radio stations.
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