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KIRKPATRICK, ALICE GLASS

KIRKPATRICK, ALICE GLASS (1911–1976). Alice Glass Kirkpatrick, a close friend and political supporter of Lyndon Baines Johnson, was born on October 11, 1911, in Lott, Texas, to George William and Judith (Ligon) Glass. She graduated from high school in Marlin and attended Texas Christian University and Columbia University in New York. After a short second enrollment at Texas Christian University, she moved to Austin, where she worked as secretary to state senator William Robert Poage. At the age of twenty Alice met the man who later became her first husband, Charles Edward Marsh, co-owner of various newspapers throughout the Southwest, including two in Austin, the Austin Statesman and the American (see AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN).

Alice and Charles moved east, where they lived in New York and Washington. They finally settled in Virginia, where Alice lived most of her life. They had two children. The Marshes were friends and supporters of Lyndon Johnson. Alice encouraged her husband to use his newspapers to support Johnson in his race for the United States House of Representatives in 1937. In 1938 she and Johnson assisted Austrian conductor Erich Leinsdorf, a refugee from the Nazis, in securing a permanent residence in the United States. The Johnsons often visited the Marshes at their Virginia estate, Longlea. Late in her life Alice Kirkpatrick told relatives that she and Johnson had been romantically involved in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some Johnson biographies contend that the congressman considered leaving his wife and marrying Alice. Talk of a flirtation between the two was rampant among their friends at this time, though hard evidence in support of the rumors is lacking. The letters that they exchanged after Johnson left the presidency suggest that they had once been warm friends but that their closeness had ebbed a good deal over the years.

After Alice's marriage to Charles ended, she briefly wed Palmer Weber. Her third husband, Zadel Skolovsky, was a concert pianist, and her fourth husband, Robert Lester, was a Korean War veteran. She married Col. Richard J. Kirkpatrick in 1959 and remained married to him until his death in 1974. In the last few months of her life she moved from Virginia to Marlin, Texas, where she died of cancer on December 9, 1976.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Robert A. Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power (New York: Knopf, 1982). Who's Who in America, 1948–49, 1956–57.

Dorothy E. Lane

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Dorothy E. Lane, "KIRKPATRICK, ALICE GLASS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fki55), accessed September 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.