Former Dallas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson dead at 88

Johnson’s family confirmed her death on social media Sunday. She was known as a trailblazing Dallas Democrat with a lengthy career marked by several historic firsts.

By Toluwani Osibamowo, KERA NewsDecember 31, 2023 3:33 pm, ,

From KERA News:

Eddie Bernice Johnson, a retired congresswoman who made history as the first Black woman from Dallas to hold public office, died Sunday. She was 88.

Her son Dawrence Kirk Johnson confirmed the news of her death on Facebook Sunday morning.

“She was a remarkable and loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother, as well as a trailblazer and public servant,” the post reads. “While we mourn the loss of an extraordinary woman, we celebrate her life and legacy. She will be deeply missed.”

The Waco native took office representing Texas’ U.S House District 30 in 1993, which includes South Dallas, Desoto, Lancaster and Cedar Hill. She was known as a trailblazing Dallas Democrat, and among many firsts in her career, she was also the first registered nurse elected to Congress. She previously also served in both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done, because there’s no Texan in the history of this state who has brought more home,” Johnson said in a speech announcing her retirement in 2021.

Local officials praised Johnson’s legacy in statements across social media following the announcement of her death.

“I am stunned and saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Congresswoman Johnson was a groundbreaking leader for this country and for our state and city, and there really are no words to express my profound sense of grief and loss at the passing of this legendary American.”

The congresswoman’s successor, current District 30 Rep. Jasmine Crockett, described Johnson in a statement as a “quiet storm” with her finger always on the pulse of the Texas Legislature. Johnson endorsed Crockett to take her place in the congressional seat, which Crockett won in 2022.

“The Chairwoman didn’t take passing the torch on lightly, and likewise, I’ve not taken it lightly that she entrusted me to honor her work and legacy,” the statement reads. “Everyday that passes is a day that I dedicate to continuing her work and attempting to fill her shoes.”

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