February 24, 1919
|Died||September 1, 2006
|Resting place||Austin, Texas|
|Spouse(s)||Gov. John Connally|
Kathleen Connally (deceased), John Connally III, Sharon Connally,Mark Connally
First Lady of Texas
Connally was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of Kathleen Annie (née Inks) and Arno W. Brill. She was wife of John Connally, who served as Governor of Texas and later as Secretary of the Treasury.
Death of President Kennedy
At the time of her death in 2006, she was the last surviving occupant of the presidential limousine that carried John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. In addition to the President, she was predeceased by her husband and by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as by Roy Kellerman and William Greer, the two secret service agents operating the limousine and seated in front of the Connallys. Secret Service agent Clint Hill was not an original passenger in the limousine; however, he boarded the vehicle after shots were fired and remained until the car's arrival at Parkland Hospital, making him the last surviving passenger that rode in the limousine that day.
While riding in the car with President Kennedy, she told him, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you." Kennedy replied, "That's obvious," which were purportedly his last words. Within a few seconds, she heard the first of what she later concluded were three gunshots in quick succession.
The President and Mrs. Connally's husband were shot, resulting in fatal wounds to the President and serious wounds to Governor Connally. Mrs. Connally got down in the car to take care of her husband, who had slumped after the second shot. "I never looked back again. I was just trying to take care of him," she said.
Connally had said the most enduring image she had of the assassination in Dallas was of a mixture of blood and roses.
"It's the image of yellow roses and red roses and blood all over the car ... all over us", she said in a 2003 interview with The Associated Press. "I'll never forget it. ... It was so quick and so short, so potent."
Anniversaries and media interviews followed the Connallys for decades to come. In her 2003 book From Love Field—Our Final Hours with John F. Kennedy, Connally shared her personal diary of the event, originally written for her children and other descendants in the days immediately after the assassination.
Diabetes prevention advocate
"I've never known a woman with Super Nellie's courage, compassion and character," Walters said. "For all her ups and downs, I've never heard a self-pitying word from her." The "downs" that Walters spoke of were financial difficulties she and her husband faced.
Private business ventures after 1980 were less successful than John Connally's career as a politician and dealmaking Houston lawyer. An oil company in which he invested encountered trouble, and $200 million of real-estate projects failed. He filed for reorganization of his personal finances under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code and for liquidation, under Chapter 7, of the Barnes–Connally Partnership, the Austin-based real-estate venture that he founded with former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes. The auction paid only a fraction of the $93 million in debts that Connally listed with the bankruptcy court in Austin.
Breast cancer research legacy
Nellie Connally celebrated her 80th birthday with fellow breast cancer survivors at a ceremony in the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at Anderson Hospital in Houston. She had been free of breast cancer for 10 years. She served on the M. D. Anderson Board of Visitors since 1984, and a fund in her name raised millions for research and patient programs.
She died in her sleep at Westminster Manor in Austin, aged 87.
The Connallys had four children, Kathleen (who predeceased both her parents), John B. Connally III, Sharon Connally, and Mark Madison Connally.
- Texas Medical Center News. Tmc.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- Citation: "Woman in JFK Limo During Shootings Dies" By KELLEY SHANNON (Associated Press Writer), from Associated Press, September 2, 2006
- "From Love Field--Our Final Hours with John F. Kennedy", Rugged Land Books, 2003.
- Nellie Connally donates handwritten notes of the Kennedy assassination to the LBJ Library and Museum
- Delta Delta Delta Distinguished Alumnae profile
Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel
|First Lady of Texas
Ida Mae Smith Smith