Liz Carpenter, former press secretary to Vice President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson died today in Austin, Texas at the age of 89. She once described dying as “going to that great Democratic Convention in the sky.” She described herself as a “foot-washing, Psalm-singing, total immersion Democrat.
Johnson daughter, Luci said:
Liz was Mother and Daddy’s dawn to midnight ‘can do’ supporter…I have had an infinitely more exciting and worthy life because Liz was my mentor and my friend. There are thousands like me who feel the same.
She is credited with writing Lyndon Johnson’s remarks after exiting Air Force One as the newly-sworn President succeeding President John F. Kennedy.
Growing up during the Depression, she beame a staunch champion of the underdog and downtrodden. She covered, and fervently believed in, Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and helped Johnson launch his Great Society.
With roots sunk deep in the Lone Star State – her relatives fought for women’s suffrage, one died at the Alamo and a great-great-uncle wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence – the sixth-generation Texan was a much sought after storyteller for events ranging from dinner parties to elaborate conventions.
She was the author of Ruffles and Flourishes.