Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen

36th President of the United States (1963-1969)

Full Name: Lyndon Baines Johnson
Born: August 27, 1908, near Stonewall, Texas
Term: November 22, 1963-January 20, 1969
Political Party: Hubert H. Humphrey
Died: January 22, 1973, LBJ Ranch, near Johnson City, Texas
Buried: LBJ Ranch, near Johnson City, Texas

I’m guessing that many of my longtime readers will be surprised that LBJ is #6 instead of #3 (or even #1, as some people suspected).  I will say that the distance between the Presidents ranked #4, #5, and #6 is tiny and you can basically consider them tied for fourth place, but I couldn’t conceivably have a tie in my own personal rankings that have no statistics or metrics or anything that would lead to a tie.  That would have been a cop-out.  However, there’s not much distance between #6 and #4, while the distance between #3 and #4 and between #6 and #7 is pretty big.  LBJ is a great President because of his domestic accomplishments and Civil Rights, even with the turmoil of the last few years of his Presidency and the drag that Vietnam places on his legacy.  I am adamant that the passage of true, effective Civil Rights legislation during LBJ’s Presidency — legislation that was shepherded and piloted through Congress by Lyndon Johnson — is one of the great accomplishments in all of American History.  I believe that LBJ did more for Civil Rights than anyone in American History — including Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.  His leadership when it came to getting legislation passed through Congress so that he could sign it never receives the full appreciation that I feel it deserves, so I’ll continue fighting my own battle for it.  I have LBJ at #6, but again, I think the Presidents that I have ranked #4, #5, and #6 are interchangeable.

1948: Schlesinger Sr./Life Magazine:  Not Ranked
1962: Schlesinger Sr./New York Times Magazine:  Not Ranked
1982: Neal/Chicago Tribune Magazine:  12 of 38
1990: Siena Institute:  15 of 40
1996: Schlesinger Jr./New York Times Magazine:  14 of 39
2000: C-SPAN Survey of Historians:  10 of 41
2000: Public Opinion Poll:  19 of 41
2005: Wall Street Journal/Presidential Leadership:  18 of 40
2009: C-SPAN Survey of Historians:  11 of 42
2010: Siena Institute:  16 of 43
2011: University of London’s U.S. Presidency Centre:  11 of 40

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