Lyndon Baines Johnson, also known as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States, who served from 1963 to 1969. Before he assumed office, he had served as President John F. Kennedy’s 37th Vice President from 1961 to 1963. He was a Democrat from Texas and served as a US representative, US senator, and Senate majority leader. With his sterling record, did you ever wonder why Johnson never ran for re-election?
One of the reasons Lyndon B. Johnson did not run for re-election was because of a study he commissioned. The research predicted he would die at 64 and thus would not survive a second term. He died in 1973, at the age of 64, two days before the end of his supposed second term.
The Early Life of Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, near Johnson City, Texas, which was named after his relatives. He was the first of five children born to a farmer, businessman, and state legislator Sam Ealy Johnson Jr., and his wife, Rebekah Baines Johnson.
Johnson’s political career began in earnest when he was elected to the United States Senate in 1937. As a Democrat, he served in the House of Representatives.
He was re-elected five times after quickly earning a reputation as a competent and hardworking legislator. Following an unsuccessful run for the US When the United States entered World War II, Johnson became the first member of Congress to volunteer for active duty in the military.
Johnson was elected to the United States Senate in 1948. Following a bruising Democratic primary, he was elected to the Senate. After crisscrossing Texas by helicopter, he won the primary by just 87 votes.
Johnson demonstrated a deft political touch once he reached the Senate. He became the Senate’s minority leader at the age of 44 in 1953, making him the youngest person ever to do so. When Democrats took control of Congress two years later, he became the Senate majority leader. (Source: History)
How Did Lydon B. Johnson Become President?
The Democratic presidential nominee, John F. Kennedy, invited Johnson to be his running mate in 1960. Johnson’s presence on the ticket drew support from conservative Southern Democrats, helping Kennedy win a narrow victory over Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon.
On November 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, Kennedy was shot and killed. Later that day, aboard Air Force One, Johnson was sworn in as president. He immediately reassured a shocked and grieving nation that he would make Kennedy’s progressive vision for America a reality. (Source: History)
What Caused Lyndon B. Johnson’s Declining Health?
His health had been an issue for a long time. In 1955, he suffered a massive coronary. That one has a great backstory. He was at a lobbyist’s home in northern Virginia, and they couldn’t find an ambulance to get him. Someone told him that he had a heart attack and that they needed to take him to the hospital. They put him in the back of a hearse and drove him there.
By the time he arrived with one of his former aides, the first question he asked the doctor was if he could smoke. The doctor quickly responded no, but Johnson asked for a last one. As he finished his cigarette, he flatlined. (Source: Parade)