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Lyndon B. Johnson

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Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1908-1973. 36th President of the United States, 1963-1969.  Typed Letter Signed, LBJ, one page, 7" x 8¾", on personal stationery, San Antonio, Texas, March 9, 1970.

Johnson writes while hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  In full:  “The card you sent and the generous things you said cheered me more than you know.  Thank you for being thoughtful and kind."

This letter reflects the generally poor state of Johnson's health after he left the White House in January 1969.  He was tired at the comparatively early age of 60 after a five-year presidency beset by the war in Vietnam and by civil unrest at home. 

In 1967, Johnson secretly obtained a study on his life expectancy.  It predicted—accurately—that he would die at age 64.  A year later, in a 1968 White House letter that we sold, Johnson told the actor Edward G. Robinson that he did not seek reelection in 1968 in order "to unite Americans and so advance the day of peace.  There is no higher or more urgent interest.  But in 1971, he confided to author Leo Janos that the "men in the Johnson family have a history of dying young.  My daddy was only sixty-two when he died, and I figured that with my history of heart trouble Id never live through another four years. The American people had enough of Presidents dying in office.

In March 1970, when he wrote this letter, Johnson was hospitalized for severe chest pains.  Those were the pressure and suffocation of angina, a condition that results from an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart.  Johnson suffered heart problems for the remaining 22 months of his life.  He died of a heart attack at the LBJ Ranch on January 22, 1973.  Ironically, he died two days after he would have left office had he been reelected in 1968, although the pressures of the presidency might well have shortened his life.

Typical of much of his post-presidential correspondence, Johnson has signed this letter with his famous initials in jet black ink.  The letter has one normal mailing fold, which does not affect the signature, and shows a slight bit of handling. Overall it is in fine to very fine condition.

Unframed.  Please click here for information about custom framing this piece.  


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