Lady Bird’s Press Secretary, Champion of ERA, Hill & Knowlton VP Liz Carpenter Dies at 89

Liz Carpenter — journalist, author, press secretary to the first lady during the Johnson Administration, and former Hill & Knowlton VP — died on Saturday at the age of 89.

Among her many accomplishments in various communications jobs, Carpenter paved the way for women to be allowed to join the National Press Club. Amazingly, the club didn’t open membership to women till 1971.

According to the Times obit, Carpenter also organized tea parties in the south. Hardly what we have today, her “Flying Tea Parties” of 1960 took “those funny-talking Kennedy ladies from Massachusetts, with Lady Bird at the helm, and hit Texas and other states in the Bible Belt and prove that Roman Catholics didn’t have horns and tails.”