Sam H. Johnson
Sam Houston Johnson in January, 1968.
Samuel Houston Johnson

(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
DiedDecember 11, 1978(1978-12-11) (aged 64)
EducationTexas State University
Cumberland School of Law (LL.B.)
Albertine Summers
(m. 1940; div. 1944)

Mary Jane Michelson Fish (1955, divorced)
Parent(s)Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr.
Rebekah Baines

Samuel Houston Johnson (January 31, 1914 – December 11, 1978) was an American businessman. He was the younger brother of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Early life

Sam Houston Johnson was born in Johnson City, Texas on January 31, 1914, to Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr. and Rebekah Baines.[1] He attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College, as had his brother Lyndon, and the University of Texas at Austin.[2] He received a law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1934.[3][4]

Early career

For most of his life, Johnson was an aide and adviser to his older brother Lyndon B. Johnson; he was part of a network of supporters his brother used to maintain awareness of and control over political activities in Texas. When Lyndon Johnson was appointed Director of the National Youth Administration in Texas in the 1930s, Sam Houston Johnson replaced him as chief aide to Congressman Richard M. Kleberg.[5]

Johnson later worked for the National Youth Administration in Texas. He also worked as an appraiser for the Federal Land Bank in Houston, and reported to his brother on its activities.[6]

During World War II, Johnson worked on the staff of the War Production Board.[7] In addition, he was employed as a member of his brother's Senate staff and worked on Lyndon Johnson's campaigns.[8]

Besides working for and with his brother, Johnson also worked as an insurance executive and as the Mexico representative of a Texas international trucking company.[9][10]

Later career

Johnson was an alcoholic. In his later years, his drinking, coupled with physical disability caused by a broken hip, limited his effectiveness as a member of his brother's organization.[11][12]

In 1970 Johnson wrote a memoir, My Brother Lyndon, which praised his brother in most respects, but was critical in others.[13] At the time, Johnson indicated that he was estranged from his brother, but said his book was not the cause. The two reconciled before Lyndon Johnson's death.[14]

According to published accounts, Johnson stopped drinking in 1972 and underwent a religious conversion, becoming a regular attendee at services of Austin's non-denominational Community Church.[15]

Historian Robert Caro interviewed Johnson as one of his numerous sources while conducting research for The Years of Lyndon Johnson. According to Caro, he at first considered Johnson to be unreliable, largely as a result of his drinking. Caro said that he considered Johnson more credible in their subsequent encounters, largely because of his sobriety and religious conversion.[16]

Death and burial

In 1976 Johnson was diagnosed with cancer and had a malignant tumor removed from his lung.[17] His lung cancer returned, and Johnson died at Holy Cross Hospital in Austin, Texas on December 11, 1978.[18] He is buried in the Johnson Family Cemetery in Stonewall, Texas.

Marriage and family

In 1940, Johnson married Albertine Summers. They divorced in 1944. Their children included a daughter, Josefa Roxane (or Roxanne) (born 1941), and a son, Samuel Summers (born 1942).

In 1955, Johnson married again to Mary Jane Michelson Fish. They later divorced.[19]


  1. ^ Clarke Newlon, L. B. J. The Man from Johnson City, 1970, page 225
  2. ^ Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album, 1965, page 125
  3. ^ Cumberland University, Cumberland University Bulletin, 1935, page 106
  4. ^ New York Times & Arno Press, The New York Times Biographical Service, Volume 9, 1978, page 1197
  5. ^ Pietrusza, David (2008). 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon; The Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidencies. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing. p. 423. ISBN 978-1-4027-6114-0.
  6. ^ Robert A. Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power, 2011, p. 289
  7. ^ New York Times Biographical Service
  8. ^ "Sam Houston Johnson Highly Valuable To His Senator Brother", Corsicana Daily Sun, 2 April 1959
  9. ^ Sam Houston Johnson, My Brother Lyndon, 1970, p. 96
  10. ^ New York Times Biographical Service
  11. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office, Hearing Record, Federal Pay Legislation, U.S. Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 1967, page 366
  12. ^ Larry L. David. "Bringing Up Lyndon", Texas Monthly, January 1976, page 80
  13. ^ Sam Houston Johnson, My Brother Lyndon, 1970, title page
  14. ^ "Obituary: Sam Houston Johnson, Brother of LBJ", St. Petersburg Times, 12 December 1978
  15. ^ Associated Press, "200 Pay Tribute at LBJ Brother's Rites", Victoria Advocate, 14 December 1978
  16. ^ Robert A. Caro, Robert A. Caro on the Art of Biography, Random House, retrieved February 12, 2014
  17. ^ Associated Press, "LBJ's Brother Has Surgery", Aiken Standard, 9 December 1976
  18. ^ Associated Press, "Sam Johnson is Dead at Age 64", Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 12 December 1978
  19. ^ Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album