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December 31, 2023

Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren Statement on Passing of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson



(San Jose, CA) - On December 31, 2023, former Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson passed away. She was 88 years old.

Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) made the following statement:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing today of former Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Eddie, or “EBJ” as she was widely known, led the Science Committee through some of the most productive years of its existence, including passage of the massive CHIPS and Science Act. Throughout that time, she remained steadfast in her commitment to broaden opportunities to all Americans and make our country more equitable and just. Her accomplishments as Chair of the Committee will live on for decades.

"But EBJ had another legacy as Chair of the Science Committee, and as a Member of Congress. She worked across the aisle to find consensus with Republican Members of Congress to address the most important issues of our day. In a time of profound division and partisanship, EBJ’s time as Chair was distinguished by the consistent bipartisan accomplishments the Committee produced. Her legacy of bipartisanship and civility is one that we desperately need right now.

"EBJ’s contributions to our country and her beloved Dallas community are profound. She was an inspirational woman who’s loss will be deeply felt across America."

Eddie Bernice Johnson served as Chairwoman of the Committee from 2019 until her retirement in 2022. Before that, she served as Ranking Member of the Committee from 2011 until 2018. Congresswoman Johnson was the first African American and the first woman to serve as either Ranking Member or Chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Eddie Bernice Johnson was born in Waco, Texas, in 1935. She studied nursing at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She later received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1967. She went on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976.

She began her career as the first female African American Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas. In 1972, she was elected to the Texas State House. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve as the Regional Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1986, she was elected to the Texas State Senate.

Ms. Johnson was elected to Congess in 1992, and she went on to serve 15 terms in the House of Representatives. During her time in the House of Representatives, Ms. Johnson served in various leadership positions, including as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.