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Lyndon B. Johnson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-13036 DLC).

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Johnson, Lyndon Baines (27 August 1908–22 January 1973), thirty-sixth president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas, the son of Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., a farmer and politician, and Rebekah Baines, a sometime teacher. Sam Ealy eked out a modest living and served as a state legislator for several years. Lyndon was the couple’s first child and by all accounts the favorite of Rebekah, who was determined that her son should have a proper education. From grade school on, Lyndon demonstrated a keen interest in politics, particularly his father’s Populist orientation, passing out campaign literature and eagerly listening to political discussions when Sam Ealy’s cronies visited the Johnson household....