There is no doubt that Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century, though a lot about him and his political stance is often misunderstood or misinterpreted. In any case, there is much about him to learn.
Despite the heights he reached, his beginnings were relatively humble. In fact, he was born in a farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas on August 27th, 1908. As a young man he worked as a teacher in a high school, before moving on to become a congressional aide, at which point he started looking into the world of politics more seriously and fully.
From Senator To President
Johnson was the 36th president of the United States, serving from 1963 to 1969. Prior to that, he had also been the 37th Vice-President, under John F. Kennedy, and he won the Democratic Primary in 1948 for the Senate election for Texas – a controversial moment for many – and from there went on to win the general election not long after.
So his career in politics in the US was clearly far-reaching and profound. On top of that, he was also at one time a serving member of the House of Representatives, as well as being a US Senator and a Senate majority leader. With this kind of varied political career, it’s easy to see why he is so widely regarded.
However, it’s not just his political career that defines him. Johnson was also in the military for a number of years, as was common at the time. His most active years in the military were 1940 to 1942. It was during this time that he was called into active service just after the attack on Pearl Harbor – three days later in fact – despite being an acting US representative at the time. There is no doubt that this helped lead to more popularity for him across the general population in the US and even beyond in some parts of the world.
In fact, he even won an award for his gallantry in battle. This was primarily for volunteering to go on a hostile recon mission alone, a moment of bravery that was regarded as pivotal to that moment in history. He was able to return with highly valuable information as a result of his bravery, thus advancing America’s efforts in the war. For this, MacArthur presented Johnson with a Silver Star for his gallantry in action, and he was the only member of the crew to receive such a decoration.
On January 22nd, 1973, ten days after giving a lengthy television interview talking about his legacy, Johnson passed away from his third heart attack. He had phoned the Secret Service, who subsequently found him still holding the phone receiver unconscious.
So there is plenty about Lyndon B. Johnson that made him so popular, and there is little wonder that he remains so for a lot of people even today, regardless of political differences.