Lady Bird Johnson Quotes

Lady Bird Johnson (1912 - 2007)

Lady Bird Johnson At The Harkness
Lady Bird Johnson At The Harkness. Jack Mitchell / Getty Images

Lady Bird Johnson, married to Lyndon B. Johnson, was First Lady of the United States from 1963-1969. Before LBJ became Vice President, he was a powerful voice in Congress, and Lady Bird Johnson helped run his Congressional office and their radio station and communication company. She is known for her beautification campaign and her efforts, after the White House years, on behalf of wildflowers.

Selected Lady Bird Johnson Quotations

• The First Lady is an unpaid public servant elected by one person - her husband.

• Every politician should have been born an orphan and remain a bachelor.

• Any committee is only as good as the most knowledgeable, determined and vigorous person on it. There must be somebody who provides the flame.

• The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.

• Walk away from it until you're stronger. All your problems will be there when you get back, but you'll be better able to cope.

• Where flowers bloom so does hope.

• Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.

• Art is the window to man's soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within.

• I think the most frustrated I've been lately is reading a speech that Senator Fulbright made in which he indicated that the country is damned because we are spending so much in Vietnam instead of spending it here to take care of the poor and underprivileged -- this from a man who has never voted for any civil rights measure and who even voted against Medicare in 1964.

It will be sheer luxury someday to talk instead of to act. [1967]

• The coach has turned into a pumpkin and the mice have all run away.

• [About her husband, Lyndon B. Johnson]: He was the most outspoken, straightforward, determined person I'd ever encountered. I knew I'd met something remarkable -- but I didn't know quite what.

• Lyndon loved everybody, and more than half the world is women. I do know that he wanted me the most.

• I had the idea that people were supposed to love me because I had an interesting mind, a kind heart, and a warm smile. I thought that Lyndon's emphasis on clothes and appearance was the wrong system of values. He used to say that a lot of the people that I met would only see me once, and that the opinion they would form would persist. He wanted them to have a good opinion of me. By the world's rules, he was right. I was wrong.

• [About their 1943 purchase of radio station KTBC] He told me I needed to get down there to Austin and learn all about the station -- to familiarize myself with the staff, the market, and the accounts. I understood that we couldn't make a success of it and be running the station from Washington, so I went to work full-time.

• [About the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, 1963] One last happy moment I had was looking up and seeing Mary Griffith leaning out of a window waving at me. Then almost at the edge of town, on our way to the Trade Mart where we were going to have the luncheon, we were rounding a curve, going down a hill and suddenly there was a sharp loud report -- a shot.

It seemed to me to come from the right above my shoulder from a building. Then a moment and then two more shots in rapid succession. There had been such a gala air that I thought it must be firecrackers or some sort of celebration.

• [Horace Busby, LBJ aide, about Lady Bird Johnson] The key to understanding Lady Bird is to understand that in her mind her father was the role model for how all men are and should be. It explains why she put up with LBJ's womanizing and why she idealized him for being a public servant. She grew up with her father and assumed all men had a wife but also had girlfriends. She didn't attach much importance to it.

• [Daughter Lynda Robb, about her mother] She made the environmental movement popular. She walked it onto center stage.

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Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Lady Bird Johnson Quotes." About Women's History. URL: . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)