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BREAKING: Former long-time U.S. congresswoman, Eddie Bernice Johnson, (D-TX) has died.  She was 89.

Eddie Bernice Johnson was heralded for championing issues for more than half a century, and being a community servant and political giant

By Texas Metro News & Black Headline News

Former U. S. congresswoman (D-TX), Eddie Bernice Johnson, passed away this New Years weekend at age 89. On Sunday, her son, Kirk Johnson, confirmed the passing of his mother, who was recently admitted into hospice care.


A statement was released by the family this morning:

"I am heartbroken to share the news that my mother, Eddie Bernice Johnson, has passed away.She was a remarkable and loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother, as well as a trailblazer and public servant.While we mourn the loss of an extraordinary woman, we celebrate her life and legacy.She will be deeply missed. Funeral services are pending," stated Dawrence Kirk Johnson and family.


About Congresswoman Johnson's Life

Born in Waco, TX, to Edward and Lillie Mae Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson graduated from A.J. Moore High School where she was a schoolmate of another former Texas State Representative, Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr.  


She obtained her nursing certificate from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame in 1955, then transferred to Texas Christian University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing.  In 1976 Ms. Johnson earned a Master of Public Administration from Southern Methodist University.


About her accomplishments as a congresswoman

A champion of STEM, women’s rights, veterans, fair housing, transportation, the Affordable Care Act, the Women, and  “EBJ,” as many affectionately called her, stayed true to her beliefs and convictions.  


A founder of the tri-Caucus (CBC, CHC, and CAPAC) and the Dallas Coalition of Hunger Solutions, Cong. Johnson accumulated several firsts during her lifetime, noted Ambassador Ron Kirk, who served as the first African American Secretary of State, Mayor of Dallas, and U.S. Trade Representative. 


She was the first African American to serve as Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital. When elected to the Texas House of Representatives, she became the first African American woman in Dallas to be elected to office.  


She served in the Texas House and Senate, where she was the first registered nurse to serve. When she went to Washington, she was the first registered nurse to ever serve in Congress, he pointed out, acknowledging several other firsts.


"She and my mother were good friends and she was like a second mother to me," he said.


Cong. Johnson, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  Girlfriends Circlets., and Links Inc., was the first African American and first female chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  


When then-President Jimmy Carter named her the Department of Health Education and Welfare regional director, she was the first African American to serve in that capacity.


She also has the distinction of having a Dallas ISD elementary school in Wilmer, Texas, named in her honor, along with Dallas Union Station which is officially known as "Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station.

Before her retirement, her portrait was unveiled and hung in the Science Committee Room, along with previous chairmen of the Committee on Science Space and Technology.

In addition to the portrait, which was the work of artist Ying-He Liu, the program for STEM women has been named in Congresswoman Johnson’s honor.

When she retired from Congress at the end of the 117th session, Cong. Johnson was the oldest member of the House of Representatives.


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