Johnson’s pre-political career was that of a high school teacher of debate and public policy. He was the first president to appoint an African-American, Thurgood Marshall, to the Supreme Court.
Johnson had wanted to “carve out a legacy as the creator of a Great Society” but had to live with the disappointment that his social programs were overshadowed by his escalation of the Vietnam War.
Johnson had always said the “…when the Great Society dies, I’ll die, too.” As he watched Nixon’s second inaugural, on Jan 20th, he heard many of his social programs being dismantled. The next day, he watched Nixon announce the cease fire in Vietnam, something that Johnson had been unable to achieve. The following day, Johnson died of a heart attack.