Claudia "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson
Claudia Taylor Johnson of Austin was a former First Lady, founder of the National Wildflower Research Center, author of A White House Diary, a lecturer and avid supporter of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
During her White House years, Mrs. Johnson served as honorary chairman of the national Head Start Program to give pre-school training to disadvantaged children. From 1971 to 1977, Mrs. Johnson served on the University of Texas System Board of Regents. While in Washington, D.C., she enlisted the aid of friends to plant tulips and daffodils that still delight visitors to our nation’s capitol.
The former First Lady is best known for her environmental work. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was the result of Mrs. Johnson’s national campaign for beautification, and in 1969 Mrs. Johnson founded the Texas Highway Beautification Award.
Mrs. Johnson received numerous awards including the Medal of Freedom from President Gerald Ford in 1977, the Eleanor Roosevelt Candlestick Award from the Women’s National Press Club in 1968, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Medal of Honor in 2000.
She received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas and seven honorary doctorates.