Former First Lady, and Texas icon, Lady Bird Johnson died on Wednesday in her Austin home, at the age of 94. Lady Bird (born Claudia Alta Taylor) was a legendary figure in Texas politics as well as the environmental scene, with her local Wildflower Center becoming a renowned destination. A journalism student at UT, she married Lyndon Baines Johnson quickly after graduation. And, of course, she unexpectedly became the First Lady in 1963, following JFK’s death. Without a doubt, the sudden shift of duties and sudden shock of the international spotlight, was something she handled with grace. In the last few decades, she’s been a constant presence around Austin, making appearances and spending time with her large family.
It’s been a sad year for liberal Texas ladies of politics. We lost Ann Richards and Molly Ivins recently, and now Lady Bird. They were all trailblazers, they were each a force. And their legacies will live on forever. For an extensive look at Lady Bird’s accomplished life, check out this AP article from The Daily Texan.