Claudia Alta Taylor was born in Karnack, Texas. Nicknamed Lady Bird, Taylor studied history and journalism at the University of Texas, where she earned two degrees before marrying Lyndon Johnson in 1934. Mrs. Johnson helped launch the Head Start program. After the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Mrs. Johnson visited the politically charged South, stating, “I don’t want the South to be overlooked in this campaign. And we have lot of good friends and kinfolk there.” She is best remembered for her efforts to beautify the capital and the nation and to conserve its environment. She advocated the Highway Beautification Act, later known as the Lady Bird Act, and the creation of national parks.
Portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, May 8, 1968. Photograph by Robert Knudsen. White House Photo Office Collection, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.