Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 - January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the thirty-sixth President of the United States (1963-1969). He was also the thirty-seventh Vice President of the United States (1961-1963).
A Democrat, Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and after completing Kennedy's term was elected President in his own right in a landslide victory in the 1964 Presidential election. Johnson was a major leader of the Democratic Party and as President was responsible for designing the "Great Society" legislation that included anti-White civil rights laws, Medicare (government funded health care for the elderly), Medicaid (government funded health care for the poor), aid to education, and the "War on Poverty." Simultaneously, he escalated the American involvement in the Vietnam War from 16,000 American soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 in early 1968.
Johnson served as a United States Representative from Texas from 1937–1949 and as United States Senator from 1949–1960, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was selected by John F. Kennedy to be his running-mate for the 1960 presidential election. Johnson's popularity as President steadily declined after the 1966 Congressional elections, and his reelection bid in the 1968 United States presidential election collapsed as a result of turmoil within the Democratic party related to opposition to the Vietnam War. He withdrew from the race to concentrate on peacemaking. Johnson was renowned for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment," his arm-twisting of powerful politicians.
Johnson died after suffering his third heart attack, on January 22, 1973.