I would rank LBJ along with Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt as the most important 20th century Presidents in terms of their domestic accomplishments. Further, LBJ ranks just behind Lincoln as the President who contributed the most to the cause of civil rights.
I think Dr. King's greatest contribution was his ability to mobilize a powerful political force with the philosophy and tactics of non-violent resistence. He was following in Gandhi's footsteps, but had an even more difficult challenge. Gandhi's protests aimed to win rights for a majority, while King's efforts were to win rights for the minority community. King not only learned from Gandhi, but also from such civil rights leaders as James Farmer and Jim Lawson. Farmer and his associates in the Congress On Racial Equality (CORE) were developing the philosophy and techniques of Gandhi as early as the late 1940s.
The tragedy for both Johnson and King was that the saw their dream for a more just American society short-circuited not only by the Vietnam War but also by the unwillingness of the American public and its leaders to tackle the issues of economic inequality---the results of 400 years of slavery and racism.
Thanks for your question. I would be pleased to answer questions and exchange views with anyone who cares to participate in this forum.
LBJ was the second greatest civil rights president---after Lincoln. Because of his accomplishments in civil rights---and despite his total failure with Vietnam--he will eventually rank high in the second tier of presidents. King's accomplishments for civil rights and his consistent practice of non-violent protest place him with Gandhi among great protest leaders for the rights of the poor and oppressed.