Claudia Alta Johnson (Taylor) (1912 - 2007) MP

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Nicknames: "Ladybird Johnson", "LadyBird Johnson", "Lady Bird Johnson"
Birthplace: Karnack, Harrison, TX, United States
Death: Died in West Lake Hills, TX, United States
Cause of death: natural causes although she had several strokes & became blind due to macular degeneration.
Occupation: First Lady of the United States
Managed by: Dorothy Marie Willard
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Claudia Alta Johnson (Taylor)

Lady Bird Johnson First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969, having been the wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout her life, she was an advocate for beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources, and made that her major initiative as First Lady. After leaving the White House in 1969 and her husband's death in 1973, Lady Bird became an entrepreneur, creating the $150 million LBJ Holdings Company, and was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honors.

Was "The Brick House," a former slave plantation mansion on the outskirts of town, which her father had purchased shortly before her birth. Nearly all of both her maternal and paternal forebears had arrived in the Virginia Colony during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Her father was a native of Alabama and primarily of English ancestry with small amounts of Welsh and Danish while her mother was a native of Texas and of English and Scottish descent [2].

Though she was named for her mother's brother Claud,[3] during her infancy, her nurse, Alice Tittle,[4][5] commented, she was as "purty as a ladybird,"[6][7] which is a brightly colored beetle commonly known as a ladybug in the United States[4] That nickname virtually replaced her given name for the rest of her life. Her father and siblings called her Lady,[8] though her husband called her Bird, which is the name she used on her marriage license. During her teenage years, her schoolmates had called her Bird, though mockingly, since she reportedly was not fond of the name.[8]

Her father was Thomas Jefferson Taylor (August 29, 1874 – October 22, 1960), a sharecropper's son who became a wealthy businessman and the owner of 15,000 acres (61 km2) of cotton and two general stores. "My father was a very strong character, to put it mildly," his daughter once said. "He lived by his own rules. It was a whole feudal way of life, really."

acqueline Kennedy's pregnancy. Over 71 days, she traveled 35,000 miles (56,000 km) through 11 states and appeared at 150 events.[4] Kennedy and Johnson won the election that November, with Lady Bird helping the Democratic ticket carry seven Southern states

As the Vice-President's wife, Lady Bird often served as a substitute for Jacqueline Kennedy at official events and functions. The Johnsons were accompanying Kennedy in Dallas when he was assassinated, and Lyndon was sworn in as President two hours later.

Lady Bird Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gerald Ford on January 10, 1977. The citation for her medal read:

"One of America's great First Ladies, she claimed her own place in the hearts and history of the American people. In councils of power or in homes of the poor, she made government human with her unique compassion and her grace, warmth and wisdom. Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure

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First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969, having been the wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout her life, she was an advocate for beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources, and made that her major initiative as First Lady. After leaving the White House in 1969 and her husband's death in 1973, Lady Bird became an entrepreneur, creating the $150 million LBJ Holdings Company, and was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honors.
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Lady Bird Johnson's Timeline

1912
December 22, 1912
Karnack, Harrison, TX, United States
1934
November 17, 1934
Age 21
San Antonio, TX, United States

Source: About.com
http://marriage.about.com/od/presidentialmarriages/p/ljohnson.htm

HOW LYNDON AND LADY BIRD MET:

Lyndon said he fell in love with Lady Bird at first sight when they were introduced by a friend, Eugenia Boehringer, on August 1, 1934 while Lyndon was in Austin, Texas on a business trip. After meeting Lady Bird, Lyndon ditched his planned date for the evening and took Eugenia and Lady Bird out for drinks. Lyndon was 26 years old and Lady Bird was 21 years old.

Their first date alone was the next morning for breakfast and Lady Bird was late. After breakfast and a long drive in the country, Lyndon proposed marriage. Lady Bird didn't say yes or no -- she said she wanted to wait a year.

Through conversations both by letters and by telephone, Lyndon convinced her to accept an engagement ring around seven weeks later.

"On November 17, Lyndon said, "We either do it now, or we never will. And if you say good-bye to me, it just proves to me that you don't love me enough to dare to. And I just can't bear to go and keep on wondering if it will ever happen."

Source: Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin. Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples. pg. 20.

Lady Bird said yes.

WEDDING DATE AND HONEYMOON:

After Lady Bird said yes, she and Lyndon drove to San Antonio, Texas and were married the evening of November 17, 1934 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

The marriage license, the minister, and several $2.50 wedding bands from Sears were arranged by a postmaster friend of Lyndon's. Lyndon later gave Lady Bird a ring with three diamond baquettes on each side of a central small diamond.

After the wedding Lyndon and Lady Bird had dinner at St. Anthony's Hotel. Their first night together was at the Plaza Hotel in San Antonio. They left the next day for a honeymoon in Mexico.

ISSUES IN LADY BIRD AND LYNDON JOHNSON'S MARRIAGE:

* Lyndon was demanding and ordered Lady Bird around. He would embarrass Lady Bird in public by making negative comments about how she dressed.

* Lyndon was unfaithful throughout their marriage. He was "a womanizer and liked to brag about it."

Source: Alice E. Anderson and Hadley V. Baxendale. Behind Every Successful President: The Hidden Power and Influence of America's First Ladies. pg. 145.

OCCUPATIONS:

Lyndon Johnson: Lyndon was the 36th President of the United States. He had been in politics most of his life.

Lady Bird Johnson: A business woman, in the early 1940s Lady Bird turned a small inheritance of $17,500 into $9 million in 1969 by investing in the KTBC radio station. She used part of her inheritance from her mother to finance Lyndon's first election. Lady Bird founded the National Wildflower Research Center, promoted the Highway Beautification Act and Head Start.

QUOTES ABOUT THE MARRIAGE OF LADY BIRD AND LYNDON JOHNSON:

Jan Russell about Lady Bird's attraction to Lyndon: "... she was crazy about Lyndon Johnson, that she loved his drive, his directness, his ability to take charge. She confided that he had asked her to marry him on their first date. there was something about Johnson that drew him to her."

Source: Jan Jarboe Russell. Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson. pg. 13.

Lyndon after his heart attack in July 1955: "Everybody's disappointed me except Lady Bird. My close friends have disappointed me. But Lady Bird never has. I never turned over in bed that I didn't hear her feet on the floor."

Source: Kati Marton. Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History. pg. 145.

Virginia Foster Durr, a friend from the Johnsons' Congressional years: "Lyndon was wild about Bird and depended on her for everything. But you never heard Lyndon say it. Of course, he worked her to death! A lot of her women friends used to get mad at him ... He took her completely for granted, and he expected her to devote every waking hour to him, which she did. I don't know how she lived through it."

Source: Alice E. Anderson and Hadley V. Baxendale. Behind Every Successful President: The Hidden Power and Influence of America's First Ladies. pg. 142.

Lady Bird during Barbara Walters interview about Lyndon's infidelity: "Oh, I think perhaps there was a time or two ... If all those ladies had some good points that I didn't have, I hope I had the good sense to learn a little bit from it. He loved me. I know he only loved me."

Source: Alice E. Anderson and Hadley V. Baxendale. Behind Every Successful President: The Hidden Power and Influence of America's First Ladies. pg. 147.

Lyndon about Lady Bird: "Through our years together I have come to value lady Bird's opinion of me, my virtues and flaws."

Source: Kati Marton. Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History. pg. 155.

1944
March 19, 1944
Age 31
USA
2007
July 11, 2007
Age 94
West Lake Hills, TX, United States
July 15, 2007
Age 94
Stonewall, Texas, United States