Former U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Dies at 89

Former U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Dies at 89
Written by Stacy M. Brown

Johnson championed STEM, women’s rights, veterans, fair housing, transportation, and the Affordable Care Act throughout her career.

Former U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a trailblazer and dedicated public servant, died at 89. Kirk Johnson, her son, confirmed her death on Sunday, Dec. 31. Johnson had been recently admitted to hospice care and left behind a legacy of remarkable achievements and contributions to the nation.

Kirk Johnson highlighted his mother’s accomplishments as a trailblazer, public servant, and remarkable family member in a statement that the family released to express their sorrow over her passing. The family acknowledged the mourning of an extraordinary woman while celebrating her life and legacy. 

“I am heartbroken to share the news that my mother, Eddie Bernice Johnson, has passed away,” Kirk Johnson said.

“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.”

The younger Johnson said funeral services are pending.

Eddie Bernice Johnson was born to Edward and Lillie Mae Johnson in Waco, Texas. She graduated from A.J. Moore High School and earned her nursing certificate from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame in 1955. According to the Texas Metro News, Johnson furthered her education at Texas Christian University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976.

Johnson championed STEM, women’s rights, veterans, fair housing, transportation, and the Affordable Care Act throughout her career. She was a founding member of the tri-Caucus (CBC, CHC, and CAPAC) and the Dallas Coalition of Hunger Solutions. Noted Ambassador Ron Kirk highlighted Johnson’s numerous firsts, including being the first African American to serve as Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital.

In her political career, Johnson served in the Texas House and Senate, becoming the first African American woman in Dallas to be elected to office. When she went to Washington, she became the first registered nurse to ever serve in Congress. She was an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Girlfriends Circlets, and Links, Inc.

Johnson was the first African American and first female chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. She was also the first African American to serve as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare regional director, appointed by then-President Jimmy Carter.

Before her retirement, Johnson’s portrait was unveiled and hung in the Science Committee Room. The program for STEM women has also been named in her honor. Upon her retirement at the end of the 117th session, she was the oldest member of the House of Representatives.

The Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford (NV-04) and members of the CBC issued a statement mourning the loss of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. 

“Among her many accomplishments in the Texas State Legislature as a nurse and member of Congress, Congresswoman Johnson was perhaps best-known to those close to her as a mother, wife, and friend, and she will be greatly missed,” CBC members stated. “She leaves a legacy and a lifetime of public service that will not soon be forgotten.”

They acknowledged her groundbreaking achievements, including being the first Black woman elected to Congress from Dallas and her role as the first African American and first female Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Johnson’s impact extended beyond legislation; she delivered hundreds of millions of dollars toward revitalizing transportation in Texas, notably for the Southern Gateway Project and the DART Rail System. The DART and Amtrak rail centers in Dallas were renamed the Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station in her honor.

Johnson’s multifaceted career included being a mother, wife, and friend in addition to a public servant, leaving a void that those who knew her will feel deeply. “Her legacy as a trailblazer and advocate for justice, equality, and progress will endure,” CBC members asserted.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top