Lyndon B. Johnsonby Jean Kinney Williams
Texan Lyndon B. Johnson was the most powerful man in Congress in 1960, when John Kennedy chose him to run for vice president. Johnson was admired and feared for his effective but overbearing use of power. In November 1963, he became president when President Kennedy was assassinated, and he was elected to a full term in 1964. A champion of civil rights for African Americans, Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He originated Head Start and other programs to improve educational and economic opportunities for the poor. His successes were overshadowed by the war in Vietnam, and as resistance to the war grew, his popularity declined. He announced in 1968 that he would not run for another term, and in 1969 was replaced by Republican Richard Nixon.
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