Former Texas Congressman Sam Johnson Dies at 89 – Glimpse into His Life and Career
Sam Johnson, a former Texas congressman and war hero, has passed away at the age of 89 after an impactful life. Let’s take a look at his fulfilling life and career.
After more than two decades of serving as a congressman, the world said goodbye to Sam Johnson at the ripe age of 89.
The sad news was revealed by Congressman Johnson’s former spokesman, Ray Sullivan, who disclosed to The Washington Post that the late politician passed away in a hospital in Plato, Texas.
Johnson was a recipient of many accolades during his lifetime including two Silver Stars, one Bronze Star with Valor, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Legions of Merit, among others.
Former Texas Rep. Sam Johnson, a military pilot who spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before serving more than two decades in Congress, died today at age 89https://t.co/OPOJclW9Ak— POLITICO (@politico) May 28, 2020
While the cause of his demise wasn’t stated, Sullivan noted that it was not related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Born on October 11, 1930, in San Antonio, Sam rose to become one of the most formidable Air Force pilots in history.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1951, Johnson enlisted in the Air Force as a pilot. Throughout his military career, he flew about 100 missions and witnessed two wars as a combat veteran.
Sam Johnson fought with remarkable courage as a citizen, a soldier, a POW and later in the halls of Congress. He exemplified ‘service above self’ and devotion to the American people in every way — our nation is better because of him. https://t.co/JDwPf8iqQ6— Rep. Roger Williams (@RepRWilliams) May 28, 2020
However, it was his 25th mission in Vietnam that cemented his place as a national hero as he was captured as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down in April 1966.
Johnson was held captive for almost seven years before he was released on February 12, 1973, with a permanently disabled right hand and a limp in his leg. However, that didn’t stop him from serving his country.
After retiring 1979, Johnson became elected to the Texas state legislature in 1984, and then won his congressional seat in 1991. As noted by People Magazine, the congressman was the oldest member of congress to retire at 88 in 2019.
Upon hearing of his demise, several prominent people have paid tributes, including Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, who described him as a man of “humility and patriotism.”
Sam Johnson, Vietnam POW who became longtime Texas congressman, dies at age 89 https://t.co/BTdMlCfDBf— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) May 28, 2020
Texas Tribune recalls that Johnson was a recipient of many accolades during his lifetime including two Silver Stars, one Bronze Star with Valor, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Legions of Merit, among others.