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George Christian (journalist)

George Eastland Christian, Jr. (January 1, 1927 – November 27, 2002) was an American journalist White House staffer who served as tenth White House press secretary from 1966 to 1969.

George Christian
10th White House Press Secretary
In office
February 1, 1967 – January 20, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byBill Moyers
Succeeded byRon Ziegler
Personal details
Born
George Eastland Christian Jr.

(1927-01-01)January 1, 1927
Austin, Texas, U.S.
DiedNovember 27, 2002(2002-11-27) (aged 75)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Resting placeTexas State Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Brown, Jo Anne Martin [1]
Children6[2]
EducationUniversity of Texas, Austin (BA)

CareerEdit

Christian was born in Austin, Texas. After graduating from Austin High School in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and saw duty in the Pacific theater and in Japan during the occupation.

Upon his discharge from the military, Christian returned to Austin and studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin under the G.I. Bill of Rights. He subsequently spent seven years covering Texas state government for the International News Service.

He left journalism for politics, serving as press secretary first for Governors Price Daniel and then for John B. Connally, Jr..

White House Press Secretary tenureEdit

Christian relocated to Washington, D.C., to join the staff of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Christian served as the White House press secretary from 1966 to 1969.

At the close of President Johnson's term of office, Christian returned to Austin.

Later lifeEdit

After serving as White House Press Secretary, Christian began a career in the private sector in Austin, working in public relations, consulting, and at a lobbying firm. In 1986, Christian founded the Texas Civil Justice League, an organization dedicated to judicial reform, which he continued to operate until his death.[3]

In 1978 his son John, then thirteen years of age, shot his English teacher, Wilbur Grayson, to death in front of his classmates with his father's .22 Long Rifle.[4] Following the murder, John spent almost two years in Timberland Hospital in Dallas.[5] He graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas, and then attended college and law school at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently an attorney in Austin.[6]

Christian served as vice chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, member and chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, member of the Texas State Cemetery Committee, and member of the boards of the Headliners Foundation, McDonald Observatory, Texas A&M College of Medicine, and Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.

His awards include selection as a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and as an Outstanding Alumnus of the UT College of Communication. He also received the Texas Award for Historical Preservation from the Texas Historical Commission and the Harvey Penick Award from Caritas of Austin. Also in 1982, a centennial professorship in journalism was established in his name at UT Austin.

 
George Christian grave at Texas State Cemetery in his native Austin, Texas

He is interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, beside his father and mother and near his great-grandfather, Brigadier General Adam Rankin Johnson of the Confederate States Army. His father, George Eastland Christian, Sr. (1888-1941), was a district attorney and a member of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His mother was the former Ruby Scott (1900-1995).[7]

Christian was married to the former Jo Anne Martin (1936–2015), a lawyer and philanthropist.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/29/us/george-christian-75-aide-to-president-dies.html
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/29/us/george-christian-75-aide-to-president-dies.html
  3. ^ "Texas Civil Justice League - Ballotpedia". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  4. ^ "Lost His Father When He was Only One – Wilbur "Rod" Grayson". National Teachers Hall of Fame. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Inscription on grave marker of Mr. and Mrs. George Christian, Sr., Texas State Cemetery in Austin

External linksEdit