Lyndon B. Johnson was perhaps the most influential and powerful Texan of the 20th century. His leadership as president of the United States carried the day in the fight for civil rights legislation, Medicare, Medicaid and educational programs. His failure in the conduct of the Vietnam War eventually overshadowed these achievements and forced his retirement. Born in the Texas Hill Country in humble circumstances, Johnson taught school in South Texas and in Houston before winning election to Congress from Austin in 1937 and to the U.S. Senate in 1948. In the Senate he quickly became majority leader and a potent power broker. He was elected vice president in 1960 and became president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.