What was the original first name of the US First Lady known as Lady Bird Johnson?
Claudia Alta Taylor was born in 1912 in Texas near the state border with Louisiana. Though her ancestry was originally humble, her father Thomas Jefferson Taylor was a wealthy businessman. It is generally accepted that her nickname came from a nursemaid declaring that little Claudia was as "purty" (sic) as a Lady Bird. She was a highly intelligent student and achieved degrees in both history and journalism.
She accepted a proposal of marriage from the ambitious young politician Lyndon Baines Johnson only 10 weeks after their first date and was viewed as something of a restraining instinct on her rather impulsive husband.
On that fateful day of 22 November 1963 the assassination of JFK meant that the Johnsons were now President and First Lady. She was definitely a moderniser and made history in being the first First Lady to have her own Press Secretary. However, though progressive in many ways, she shared her husband's support for the Vietnam War and this led to a public dispute with the singer Eartha Kitt which had an adverse effect on the latter's career.
She passed away on the 11th of July 2007 at the age of 94.