Ann Butler and Bill Hobby.

Ann Butler and Bill Hobby.

Iconic Texas Families Donate $2 Million to LBJ Presidential Library

Oct 03, 2012

The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas has received major support and funding as it nears completion of a massive renovation of its public exhibits. Ann Butler of Austin and Bill Hobby of Houston, esteemed civic leaders and Johnson family friends, have each donated $1 million to help pay for the construction of innovative, interactive exhibits, giving the library a contemporary look, design, and experience.

“We are very grateful to have such great friends in Ann Butler and Bill Hobby,” said Mary Herman, Executive Director of the LBJ Foundation. “With their support, our capital campaign is more than halfway toward its goal to complete the renovation project, and we know their generosity will inspire others to join this effort.”

Ann Butler has been instrumental in supporting many causes in the city, from the environment to health care to the arts. Working with Lady Bird Johnson, she led the way to build and landscape the hike-and-bike trail in Austin that is now named for her and her late husband, former Mayor Roy Butler.

“I am pleased to support the LBJ Presidential Library,” said Mrs. Butler. “My friends, Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, have a legacy that impacts all of us today in so many positive ways. These new exhibits share the stories of their political and personal lives through compelling, state-of-the-art technology.”

Bill Hobby has devoted his life to public service – as a naval officer, journalist, governmental policymaker, university chancellor, and as the longest serving lieutenant governor of Texas. Hobby is one of the state’s most influential political and business leaders and is a member of one of the most historically significant families in Texas. Currently he serves on the LBJ Foundation board of directors,  as chairman of the board of Hobby Communications, and as the Radoslav Tsanoff professor at Rice University.

“It is time to show new generations what Lyndon Johnson accomplished, the difficult decisions he faced as President, and his lasting impact,” said Hobby. “Johnson has often been called the ‘Education President’ for the more than 60 education bills he helped pass. Education has been a passion of mine and these new exhibits will educate, inspire, and fascinate visitors. It’s time for a new look at our 36th President.”

For more information about the LBJ Presidential Library and the redesign, please visit

Bill Hobby photo by Kaye Marvins
Ann Butler photo courtesy of Ann Butler

About the Redesign
Construction began on the renovation of the LBJ Presidential Library in January 2012. The library will open the new exhibits on December 22, 2012, in honor of Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday.

The LBJ Library contracted with Gallagher and Associates of Washington, D. C., to design and oversee construction of the $12 million project. Gallagher and Associates has completed award-winning redesigns of the Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter Presidential Libraries.

In dedicating the LBJ Library in May 1971, Lyndon Johnson said, “It is all here: the story of our time - - with the bark off... This Library will show the facts...not just the joy and triumphs, but the sorrow and failures, too.”

In keeping with President and Mrs. Johnson’s commitment to transparency and objectivity, library staff and designers will showcase materials in the new exhibits from the archives and museum collections thathave never before been seen. To ensure accuracy, independent interpretation, and impartiality in the redesign of the exhibits, the LBJ Library has consulted with esteemed historians in presenting the history of Lyndon Johnson. Those consultants include Michael Beschloss, Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, as well as many of those who worked in the Johnson Administration.

Renovation of the LBJ Library is funded by private donations through the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation.

About the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is responsible for managing gifts that benefit the LBJ Presidential Library and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Founded by President and Mrs. Johnson, the nonprofit Foundation provides funding to enhance the visiting public’s experience and provides grants for scholars and researchers who come to mine the Library’s vast collections. As one of only 13 Presidential libraries in the country, the LBJ Library was established to preserve and make available for research the papers and memorabilia of President Johnson. A changing array of exhibits, engaging symposia, and community outreach programs are also supported by the Foundation.

The Foundation also funds scholarships, faculty endowments and research projects at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The Johnsons’ profound belief in the value of education is mirrored in the mission of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. It attracts the best and most creative minds to prepare graduate students for leadership positions, to organize public policy research, to provide continuing education for professionals, and to foster community involvement. For more information, please visit

News Coverage

Austin American Statesman - Two Donors Give LBJ Library $1 Million Each. read more

AUSTIN (KXAN) - $2M donated to LBJ Library renovation. read more

Austin Business Journal – LBJ Library Receives $2 million Gift. read more