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The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr.

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Information about The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr.

Profile image of The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr.

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/14/1934
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/14/1934
Birth Location:
New York
See how The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Throughout his long and varied career, Judge Sterling Johnson has been a socially progressive force and has served with conscientious integrity. Johnson was born on May 14, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York, growing up with his parents, three sisters and one brother in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Restless as a youth, Johnson graduated from high school only because his father insisted he do so in order to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Johnson joined the U.S. Marines and served for three years.

Johnson then returned to New York and joined the New York City Police Department in 1956 where he steadily moved up the ranks. At the same time, he began night school at Brooklyn College and obtained his degree after eight and a half years of part time study. After finishing, Johnson then went on to Brooklyn Law School graduating in 1966 in the top ten percent of his class.

In 1967, Johnson began the second phase of his law enforcement career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York acquiring a reputation as a tough prosecutor. After three years, Johnson was appointed as executive director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, investigating allegations of police misconduct and brutality. In 1974, Johnson was named executive liaison officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, Johnson became the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City for fourteen years garnering acclaim for his outspoken stance on the "war on drugs."

In 1991, President George Bush appointed Sterling Johnson as a federal judge to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Johnson credits his varied background in law enforcement for bringing a fresh and unique perspective to the federal court.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sterling Johnson interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sterling Johnson's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sterling Johnson shares his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sterling Johnson shares family history of slavery and poverty
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sterling Johnson discusses his siblings and death of his brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sterling Johnson discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sterling Johnson details childhood memories.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sterling Johnson recalls his elementary school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sterling Johnson describes Marine Corps life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sterling Johnson discusses life as an NYPD officer and college student
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sterling Johnson details law school life at Brooklyn Law School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sterling Johnson describes his legal mentors and law school life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sterling Johnson details his early legal career as a US Attorney
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sterling Johnson talks about working as a narcotics officer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sterling Johnson discusses the dearth of blacks on the federal bench
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sterling Johnson details life as a policeman on the narcotics beat
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sterling Johnson details the international trade of herion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sterling Johnson recalls his successful tenure as a Special Narcotics Prosecutor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sterling Johnson discusses the impact of politics on his criminal prosecutions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sterling Johnson recalls a contract put on his life by a drug lord
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sterling Johnson discusses his federal judicial nomination process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sterling Johnson describes life on the federal bench
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sterling Johnson discusses the dearth of blacks in the federal judiciary
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sterling Jonson sharesstories of his unothodox methods to secure a new Federal courthouse
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sterling Johnson shares anecdotes of his attempts to diversify judicial clerkships
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sterling Johnson tries to educate the younger generation about the legal and criminial process
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sterling Johnson shares conerns of the slow pace of black achievement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sterling Johnson shares a story of DWB- driving while black
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sterling Johnson reflects upon his parents and his legacy