A 1973 profile of LBJ in his final years.
“The damn press always accused me of things I didn’t do. They never once found out about the things I did do,” Johnson said.
I’d always assumed Johnson refused to run in 1968 because he was unpopular, couldn’t win, and knew it. But Johnson claimed in retirement that he could have beaten Nixon. However, men in Johnson’s family died relatively young, and his health was already failing; he felt he could not survive another term and that the American people should not have to suffer another President dying in office.
Johnson hired actuaries to predict his lifespan in 1967; they said he’d die at age 64, which he did.