A Politician Ought To Be Born a Foundling and Remain a Bachelor

Lady Bird Johnson? Barbara Rowes? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The demands placed upon politicians are intense. Minimal time can be allocated for family and friends. Lady Bird Johnson who was married to U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) once made a statement similar to the following:

A politician should be born an orphan and remain a bachelor.

Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1970 Lady Bird Johnson published “A White House Diary” which included an entry dated September 12, 1967. Johnson reminisced about when LBJ was a U.S. Senator and their daughters were young. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

. . . I remembered what Lynda and Luci used to say when they were little. We would start out for dinner and they didn’t want us to go. “Why are you always going out, Mama?” And then once Lynda said, forlornly, “Mama, Washington is sure meant for the Congressmen and their wives, but it is not meant for their children.”

I remember saying once myself, when we first came to Washington, that a politician ought to be born a foundling and remain a bachelor.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading A Politician Ought To Be Born a Foundling and Remain a Bachelor


  1. 1970, A White House Diary: Lady Bird Johnson by Lady Bird Johnson, Section: Fall 1967, Diary entry dated: September 12, 1967, Start Page 567, Quote Page 568, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York. (Verified with hardcopy)