Lady Bird Johnson Wielded Power With a Delicate Touch

LBJ’s First Lady Was a Trailblazer Who Flew Under the Radar

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“Somebody else can have Madison Avenue,” Lyndon Johnson once said. “I’ll take Bird”—that is, his wife, Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson. (She got her elegant nickname as a toddler, when a nanny said she was as “purty as a lady bird.”) The president recognized her political acumen. Not everyone did—or does. When Robert Schenkkan’s play All the Way, about the fight for passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, appeared on Broadway, some friends and advisers said that Lady Bird Johnson was not given enough credit. The screen version, …

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