Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

Former US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson dies

President Biden visits Dallas prayer service to pay respects

Former U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson died on Dec. 31, leaving many mourning her loss as both a prominent Texas political figure and a woman of many achievements.

Eddie Bernice Johnson at a local campaign event in 2019. (Photo/Associated Press)

Johnson passed away at 89 after a back wound from surgery in September became infected. According to published reports, the family lawyer explains she died due to medical neglect in Johnson’s rehabilitation facility. According to published reports, her family is already making plans to sue her healthcare providers, while others are celebrating the life that she led.
President Joe Biden visited her prayer service in Dallas Jan. 9, paying his respects to the former U.S. Representative he had worked with throughout Johnson’s 30 years in Congress.
Johnson could be considered first for many things. The first Black woman to be elected to any seat in Dallas, the first Black Dallasite to serve in Congress and the first registered nurse in Congress. According to published reports, Johnson was the first in the Texas area to endorse Biden when he began his road to the presidency and one of the first to challenge the separatist ideals that were prominent in Dallas at the beginning of her career.
Johnson originally wanted to work for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Waco. However, due to her father already working there, she had to apply to the one in Dallas. After getting the job and moving to Dallas, she quickly realized how rampant segregation still was in the city. Despite this, she worked hard and went on to become the first Black female chief psychiatric nurse at the hospital.
Eventually, she made a connection to the then-CEO of Neiman Marcus, civic leader Stanley Marcus, who took her and groomed her as a future Black leader in Dallas. With his help, Johnson ran for the Texas Legislature in 1972. Later that year, she was elected to the House of Representatives.
Johnson started in Congress as the only woman and began working toward her goals of equality and social justice. She served on the Congressional Black Caucus and made connections to important historical and political figures such as young Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, among others.
Those connections came with important decisions, and with each decision, Johnson would research and do her homework to en-sure that she did what was best for her constituents. She was applauded for her efforts, and her ability to make the tough call, even if she was in the minority. An example of this was when she voted against former President Bush, denying him access to armed forces in retaliation to Iraq. She did not make the decision lightly, however. She was applauded for it later.
Johnson said it best when it came to her job and the reason behind her efforts. “It’s not a glamour job to me.”
This past year, Johnson underwent back surgery and when sent to the Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation for healing, she allegedly suffered from neglect. According to her son, Kirk Johnson, his mother had called him for help, claiming that the call button she was provided wasn’t working. Her son quickly went to the facility and found Johnson sitting in her feces, screaming in pain for help, according to family lawyers.
After getting help, an infection was discovered in her lower spine. Johnson was reportedly transferred to a specialized facility for more surgeries and recovery. However, Johnson passed away, leaving her friends and family in mourning. Her son Kirk has already gotten an attorney, and they are now preparing a lawsuit against the hospital.

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