- NAME: John Connally
- OCCUPATION: Governor
- BIRTH DATE: February 27, 1917
- DEATH DATE: June 15, 1993
- Did You Know?: Democrat John Connally switched to the Republican Party in 1973.
- Did You Know?: John Connally's wife, Nellie Connally, lived until 2006. She was the last survivor among those who were in President John F. Kennedy's limousine the day he was assassinated.
- EDUCATION: University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas School of Law
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Floresville, Texas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Houston, Texas
- Full Name: John Bowden Connally Jr.
- AKA: John Bowden Connally
- AKA: John Connally
Best Known For
John Connally was in the limo with John F. Kennedy when the president was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Connally was also severely wounded in the attack.
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The reason, he said, was that Oswald had once petitioned Connally, when he was Secretary of the Navy, to upgrade his discharge from the Marines. Connally had never responded to the request.
Connally served as governor of Texas until 1969. He then practiced law before going to work for President Richard Nixon, first on the president's Foreign-Intelligence Advisory Board, and later as Secretary of the Treasury. Connally officially became a member of the Republican Party in 1973.
The last two decades of Connally's life were a bit of a roller coaster. In 1974, he was indicted for accepting a $10,000 bribe (he was acquitted of the charges). A few years later, he spent a considerable amount of money in an attempt to secure the Republican presidential nomination, but lost to Ronald Reagan. Connally was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1988 after falling $93 million into debt as a result of poor real estate and oil investments.
At age 76, Connally died on June 15, 1993, at the Methodist Hospital of Houston, Texas. His death was the result of complications from the pulmonary fibrosis that his bullet wound had left him with. He was survived by his three remaining children—his eldest child, Kathleen, had died in 1958 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound—and his wife, Nellie.
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A good party always has some surprises—and that goes for political parties, too. Though the United States has had a two-party system for most of its history, party loyalty is not always written in stone. Over the years many politicians have switched sides, for ideological, political, and strategic reasons. Here are some of the politicians who have crossed to the other side of the aisle.
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