John Connally served as the 39th governor of Texas and as the 61st United States Secretary of the Treasury.
77 Facts About John Connally
John Connally began his career as a Democrat and later became a Republican in 1973.
John Connally left the Kennedy Administration in December 1961 to run for Governor of Texas, and he held that position from 1963 to 1969.
In 1963, John Connally was riding in the presidential limousine when Kennedy was assassinated, and was seriously wounded.
John Connally stepped down from the Cabinet in 1972 to lead the Democrats for Nixon organization, which campaigned for Nixon's re-election.
John Connally was a candidate to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after the latter resigned in 1973, but Nixon chose Gerald Ford instead.
John Connally sought the Republican nomination for president in the 1980 election, but withdrew from the race after the first set of primaries.
John Connally did not seek public office again after 1980 and died of pulmonary fibrosis in 1993.
John Connally was born on February 27,1917, into a large family in Floresville, the seat of Wilson County, southeast of San Antonio.
John Connally was one of seven children born to Lela and John Bowden Connally, a dairy and tenant farmer.
John Connally attended Floresville High School and was one of the few graduates who attended college.
John Connally graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the student body president and a member of the Friar Society.
John Connally subsequently graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the bar by examination.
In 1936, Connally met and befriended Lyndon Johnson, of whom he remained a political ally and friend for his entire life.
Johnson helped Connally get a job in the campus library, and Connally played a minor role in Johnson's bid for Congress in 1937.
John Connally was discharged in 1946 at the rank of lieutenant commander.
John Connally had close ties with Johnson before his navy days and maintained them until the former president's death in 1973.
Under Richardson's tutelage, John Connally gained experience in a variety of enterprises and received tips on real estate purchases.
When Richardson died in 1959, John Connally was named to the lucrative position of co-executor of the estate.
John Connally was involved in a reported clandestine deal to place the Texas Democrat Robert Anderson on the 1956 Republican ticket as vice president.
John Connally was the president of the radio station between 1946 and 1949.
At the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles, Connally led supporters of Senator Lyndon Johnson.
John Connally resigned eleven months later to run for the Texas governorship.
John Connally ordered gifts for a hospital in Cannes, France that treated children with bone diseases, for poor Greek children on the island of Rhodes and for spastic children in Palermo, Italy.
John Connally fought hard to protect the Navy's role in the national space program, having vigorously opposed assigning most space research to the Air Force.
John Connally announced in December 1961 that he was leaving the position of Secretary of the Navy to seek the Democratic nomination for the 1962 Texas gubernatorial election.
John Connally would have to compete against the incumbent Marion Price Daniel, Sr.
John Connally waged the most active campaign of any of the Democrats, traveling more than 22,000 miles across the state.
John Connally made 43 major speeches and appeared on multiple statewide and local telecasts.
John Connally appeared conservative, but did often highlight his position in the Kennedy Administration in attempt to appeal to Hispanic and Afro-American voters.
John Connally refused to debate Yarborough, and resorted to attacking him in subtle ways instead, attacking him as a candidate of Americans for Democratic Action, which "was like equating him with the Communist party" in a Southern state like Texas.
John Connally prevailed with margins of 73.8 percent and 72.8 percent, respectively, giving him greater influence with the nearly all-Democratic legislature.
John Connally was governor during a time of great expansion of higher education in Texas.
John Connally signed into law the creation of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
John Connally was a bitter opponent of trade unions and strongly supported right-to-work law in Texas, which led the AFL-CIO to call for his resignation.
John Connally cemented himself as a very conservative Democrat, even by the standards of the Solid South, which led many to believe that he was aligned more towards the Republican Party than his own.
However, the split did not come to fruition and according to The New Republic, Johnson and Connally "agree to disagree".
John Connally fiercely defended the war, and accused Democratic progressives such as Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern of supporting "appeasement and surrender"; in turn, Pierre Salinger accused John Connally of endorsing "old-type Joe McCarthyism".
John Connally said he wanted to be known as "the education Governor," and he will be, because spending for higher education rose 150 percent and for secondary education 100 percent.
John Connally argued that increases in service to Texas outweighed the tax rise, and that, per capita, taxes rose only 16.4 percent while the national average rose by 21.9 percent.
John Connally publicly endorsed Humphrey, but the relationship was not always smooth.
John Connally was succeeded as governor by Lieutenant Governor Preston Smith.
On November 22,1963, John Connally was seriously wounded while riding in President Kennedy's car at Dealey Plaza in Dallas when the president was assassinated.
John Connally, riding in the middle jump seat of the president's limousine in front of the president, recalled hearing the first shot, which he immediately recognized as a rifle shot.
John Connally said that he immediately feared an assassination attempt and turned to his right to look back to see the president.
John Connally looked over his right shoulder but did not catch the president out of the corner of his eye, so he said he began to turn back to look to his left when he felt a forceful impact to his back.
John Connally suffered a fracture of the fifth rib, a punctured lung, a shattered wrist, and had a bullet lodged in his leg.
John Connally underwent four hours of surgery after the shooting and recovered from his wounds.
John Connally refused to accept the single-bullet theory, which suggested that one shot passed through President Kennedy's neck and caused all of John Connally's wounds.
John Connally insisted that all three shots struck occupants of the limousine.
John Connally told Nixon that his taking the Treasury post would embarrass Bush, who had "labored in the vineyards" for Nixon's election as president, while John Connally had supported Humphrey.
Secretary John Connally defended a $50 billion increase in the debt ceiling and a $35 to $40 billion budget deficit as an essential "fiscal stimulus" at a time when five million Americans were unemployed.
John Connally later shied away from his role in recommending the failed wage and price controls, and announced guaranteed loans for the ailing Lockheed aircraft company.
John Connally fought a lonely battle against growing balance-of-payment problems with the nation's trading partners, and undertook important foreign diplomatic trips for Nixon through his role as Treasury Secretary.
Schulman added that Henry Kissinger, Nixon's National Security Advisor, noted that John Connally was the only cabinet member whom Nixon did not disparage behind his back, and that this was high praise indeed.
John Connally stepped down as Treasury Secretary in May 1972 to head "Democrats for Nixon", a Republican-funded campaign to promote Democratic support for Nixon in the 1972 presidential election.
John Connally had considered running against Tower in 1966, but chose instead to run for a third term as governor.
In December 1972, John Connally travelled to Saudi Arabia with Occidental Petroleum chairman Armand Hammer.
When Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned five months later because of scandal, John Connally was among Nixon's potential choices to fill the vacancy.
In July 1974, John Connally was indicted for allegedly pocketing $10,000 from dairy industry lawyer Jake Jacobsen in exchange for influencing the government to increase federal dairy price support.
John Connally announced in January 1979 that he would seek the Republican nomination for President in 1980.
John Connally was considered a great orator and strong leader and was featured on the cover of Time with the heading "Hot on the Trail", but his wheeler-dealer image remained a liability.
John Connally drew the backing of Republican state representative Fred Agnich of Dallas.
John Connally raised more money than any other candidate, but he was never able to overtake the popular conservative front-runner, Ronald Reagan of California.
John Connally lost there to Reagan 55 to 30 percent and withdrew from the contest.
John Connally was reported to have been interested in becoming Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, but was only offered the post of Secretary of Energy, which he turned down.
John Connally purchased a $1 million apartment in Washington DC from one of the Shah's sisters, reportedly due to higher political aspirations.
John Connally was assigned as one of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board's 19 members.
In 2023, allegations by Ben Barnes, a longtime John Connally associate, were published in the New York Times alleging that John Connally interfered with Iran hostage crisis negotiations to aid the Reagan campaign and gain favor with Reagan.
Barnes contended that during a tour of the Middle East in the summer of 1980, John Connally met with several regional leaders to convince them to tell Iran that they would get a better deal from Reagan if they continued to hold hostages until after the November election.
In 1981, John Connally was alleged to be aware of Operation Red Dog, a plot by white supremacists to overthrow the government of Dominica, by Michael Perdue.
In 1986, John Connally filed for bankruptcy as a result of a string of business losses in Houston.
In one of his last political acts, John Connally endorsed Republican congressman Jack Fields of Houston in the special election called in May 1993 to fill the vacancy left by US Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Houston.
On May 17,1993, John Connally had suffered a breathing problem and was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he died from pulmonary fibrosis, on June 15, at the age of 76.
When John Connally died, forensic pathologist Dr Cyril Wecht and the Assassination Archives and Research Center petitioned Attorney General Janet Reno to recover the remaining bullet fragments from John Connally's body, contending that the fragments would disprove the Warren Commission's single-bullet, single-gunman conclusion.
John Connally's funeral was held on June 17,1993 at the First United Methodist Church of Austin where he and his wife, Nellie Connally, had been members since 1963.
In January 1964, John Connally donated the suit he wore on November 22,1963, to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.