Lady Bird Johnson
@ National Portrait Gallery
DescriptionClaudia Taylor's African American nursemaid declared that she was as pretty as a "ladybird," a nickname that stuck with her through her entire life. She graduated from high school at age fifteen and earned two degrees at the University of Texas: a B.A. in 1933 and a degree in journalism in 1934. That same year, Lady Bird met Lyndon Johnson, a young congressional secretary. After a brief courtship-best characterized by her statement that "sometimes Lyndon simply takes your breath away"-they were married. Devoted to her husband's political career, she ran his office during World War II and in 1955, after he suffered a heart attack. The couple had two daughters. As first lady, Johnson was active in Head Start, and especially in her capital beautification project and in her promotion of the Highway Beautification Act.
Watercolor, Gouache, Colored Pencil And Graphite Pencil On Paperboard
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine