History: Madeleine Duncan Brown – LJB’s long lost lover?

Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field following the Kennedy Assassination.
Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field following the Kennedy Assassination.

The JFK conspiracy theorist from Oak Cliff

She was born in 1925 and raised near South Beckley.

Madeleine Duncan Brown graduated from Adamson High School and married her childhood sweetheart, a neighborhood soda jerk, at 19.

Brown would go on to become a media buyer for Glenn Advertising, now TM. And she would become one of the most outspoken JFK conspiracy theorists around.

Sponsored Message

Brown stood up during a meeting of the Dallas Press Club in 1982 and stated that she wanted to “clear the air.” She announced to the room that she’d had a 20-year affair with former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who died in 1973.

Brown supposedly met LBJ in 1948 at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, during a celebration for his election to the U.S. Senate. Her 1997 autobiography tells it that Johnson was chatting with Alice Glass, his mistress of many years. But he was so taken with Brown’s beauty that he introduced himself to her and invited her to another party at the Driskill Hotel in Austin three weeks later.

That’s where, according to the autobiography, he slipped her a room key.

“I felt naughty, but I felt good,” Brown said in a 1980s interview.

Sponsored Message

After that, Brown said, she met with Johnson any time he was in Texas. She said she was “deeply in love with him.”

In 1987, five years after her initial claim of an affair with the former president, Brown gave an interview to “People” magazine wherein she claimed that Johnson had fathered her son, Steven Mark Brown.

Brown raised her two sons in a prairie foursquare on South Windomere. She claimed that LBJ arranged for her to live in the home through a Dallas attorney, who also paid for maids and charge cards. Even after the alleged affair ended in 1969, Brown claimed in the “People” interview, Johnson had sent her money through his attorney.

Madeleine Duncan Brown in the 1980s.
Madeleine Duncan Brown in the 1980s.

JFK conspiracy

During the 1980s and ’90s, Brown appeared on television shows, including “Geraldo” and “A Current Affair” claiming she knew LBJ was part of a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy.

Her version of the story varied, but the gist of it is that she attended a party at oilman Clint Murchison’s home on the eve of the assassination. At this party, she said, was everyone: Oilman H.L. Hunt, Dallas Mayor Earl Cabell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon G. Carter, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and future President Richard M. Nixon.

When LBJ arrived to the party around 11 p.m., Brown said, all of those men went into a conference room for a closed-door meeting.

In one account, Brown said that when Johnson emerged from that meeting, he whispered to her, “Those blankety-blank Kennedys will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat; it’s a promise.”

Another version has Johnson grabbing her by the arms and angrily saying, “Those s.o.b.’s will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat; it’s a promise.”

Sponsored Message

Details in Brown’s account of the JFK assassination also varied.

Sponsored Message

In some interviews, she says she was on her way to Austin and turned around when she heard the news. In others, she says she’d had her hair done at a department store and then walked into the Old Red Courthouse where she heard the news.

She said she called then-County Judge Lew Sterrett to ask him what had happened.

Sponsored Message

“He said, ‘Well, they just shot that s.o.b.,’ ” Brown said in an interview.

Paternity suit

In 1987, Brown’s son Steven Mark Brown filed a $10.5-million lawsuit against Lady Bird Johnson claiming she conspired against him to leave him out of President Johnson’s inheritance.

Steven Brown also went to Adamson. He graduated from Texas A&M University and then joined the U.S. Navy. He had served as a Republican Party precinct chairman and election judge. He was part of the movement to make Winnetka Heights a historic district, and he was involved in a project to beautify Jefferson Boulevard.

A judge dismissed his lawsuit in 1989 after Steven Brown failed to appear at a court hearing. He died of lymphatic cancer at age 39 in 1990.

Sponsored Message

Madeleine Brown said at the time of her son’s death that she intended some kind of legal action against the Johnsons, but nothing ever came of it.

In 1997, she published her autobiography, “Texas in the Morning: The Love Story of Madeleine Brown and President Lyndon Baines Johnson.” It’s now out of print.

She died in 2002.

There are no photos of Johnson and Brown together, except for one where she is seated at a dinner party with her back to the former president. And no one ever has corroborated her story.

“I was the other woman,” Brown once said in an interview. “But I will always love him.”

Written By
More from Rachel Stone

Valentine’s Day, burlesque and more things to do in Oak Cliff this weekend

The Foundry has The Cush Friday and Roomsounds Saturday. Both are free...
Read More