Joseph W. Martin, Jr., before he was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives from 1947 to 1949 and 1953 to 1955, recruited Johnson to run for Congress. "He was an utterly inexperienced speaker," Martin later said. "I got some of my boys to write two master speeches for him – one for the farmers of his district and the other for the industrial areas. Alas, he got the two confused. He addressed the farmers on industrial problems, and the businessmen on farm problems."
At 11:40 pm, Tuesday, December 10, 1946 Johnson died of a brain tumor in Washington, D.C., five weeks after his 59th birthday, and was interred at Rockville Union Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.