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Texas State University
Texas State University

W. Thomas Johnson

Publisher, Los Angeles Times
Former Secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson

Friday, April 2, 1982

Tom Johnson delivers the first LBJ Distinguished Lecture

This campus, then, set Lyndon Baines Johnson on a course that was to have dramatic impact on the life of every American. The changes he wrought in our society distinguish him, I think, as a great innovator and humanist.


W. Thomas Johnson is the first Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecturer. His selection to launch the series is especially appropriate because of his strong personal and professional ties with the former President.

Mr. Johnson was a member of the White House Staff for most of President Johnson's tenure, working with media relations. When the President left office, Mr. Johnson continued to serve as his executive assistant. During the years a close friendship developed between the two men and their families.

Mr. Johnson is now publisher and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Times, a continuation of an outstanding career which began with The Macon (Georgia) Telegraph and News while he was still in high school. He continued with the paper while he worked toward a bachelor's degree at the University of Georgia School of Journalism and a master's degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, both on full scholarships.

In 1965, he won an appointment as a White House Fellow assigned to Bill Moyers. The next year, he was named assistant White House press secretary and the following year he moved up to deputy press secretary to the president, working under Press Secretary George Christian. In 1968, he became special assistant to the President.

Returning to the private sector, Tom Johnson served as executive vice president of the Texas Broadcasting Corp. in Austin. In 1973, he became executive editor of the Dallas Times Herald, moving up to publisher of that newspaper in 1975. The following year, Time Maga­zine named the Dallas Times Herald one of the five best newspapers in the South and cited Mr. Johnson as its publisher.

In 1977, Mr. Johnson took on the duties of president and chief oper­ating officer of the Los Angeles Times and was named publisher and chief executive officer in 1980.

— Text adapted from the original event program distributed at Tom Johnson's LBJ Distinguished Lecture.

Transcript of Remarks

The first LBJ Distinguished Lecture, delivered by Tom Johnson.