John Connally–United States Secretary of the Navy, 39th Governor of Texas, United States Secretary of the Treasury, and one-time presidential candidate–was born February 17, 1917 in Floresville, Texas. His career, whatever you may think of it, is an example of the Texas political scene of his day.
He is best remembered as being shot while riding in the same car as President and Mrs. Kennedy on the day JFK was assassinated in Dallas. The photo with this article was taken moments before the fateful event.
During his stint as Secretary of the Treasury (as a Democrat, though he later switched parties) under President Richard Nixon (a Republican), he defended a $50 billion increase in the debt ceiling and a $40 billion budget deficit, devalued the U.S. dollar, and took our currency off the gold standard. (Previously, a dollar represented its value in real gold. After Nixon and Connally, the dollar had no tangible foundation.) The Nixon-Connally years were characterized by record unemployment, runaway inflation, gas shortages, failed attempts to artificially control wages and prices, and growing trade deficits with foreign nations.