By Neal Spelce with Thomas Zigal
Austin journalist Neal Spelce’s years working with LBJ were once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but only part of his award-winning media career.
Series: Tower Books Imprint
Publisher: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
Book Details: 304 pages, 6 x 9, 85 illustrations
Publication Status: In Print
What if you got a call from Lyndon Johnson to be in Washington, DC, tomorrow to take a trip around the world? If you are twenty-five-year-old broadcast journalist Neal Spelce, you buckle up. A two-week diplomatic dream trip turned into a lifelong rollercoaster ride.
Spelce began his career as a part-time journalist in the LBJ family-owned Austin TV station in 1956, which vaulted him into a lifetime of impressive experiences with Johnson and many icons of the twentieth century. From his live reporting during the University of Texas Tower shooting tragedy to his lifelong association with LBJ, Spelce found himself behind the scenes in many of the twentieth century’s crucial moments. The Austin-based journalist shares his candid moments with LBJ and five more U.S. presidents, including his rare interview with father and son presidents George Bush while the three were fishing and talking in a small bass boat on a Texas lake.
During his lengthy media career, Spelce saw Austin grow from a college town to a thriving city. Along the way he interacted with Texas legends such as Darrell Royal, Willie Nelson, Walter Cronkite, and more, all part of entertaining stories that he tells, as LBJ liked to say, “with the bark off.”