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Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson

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Information about Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson

Profile image of Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Lieutenant Colonel

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains
Favorite Quote:
Be Still, Sad Heart, And Cease Repining; Behind The Clouds The Sun Is Shining; Thy Fate Is The Common Fate Of All, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, Some Days Must Be Dark And Dreary. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Birthplace

Born:
8/21/1940
Birth Location:
Tip Top, Virginia

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Lieutenant Colonel

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains
Favorite Quote:
Be Still, Sad Heart, And Cease Repining; Behind The Clouds The Sun Is Shining; Thy Fate Is The Common Fate Of All, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, Some Days Must Be Dark And Dreary. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Birthplace

Born:
8/21/1940
Birth Location:
Tip Top
See how Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Security executive and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Harry B. Johnson was born in Tip Top, Virginia, on August 21, 1940. On his father's side, he is related to the first black U.S. Senator, Hiram R. Revels. Johnson was raised in humble circumstances by his aunt, Addie M. Hairston, in Bluefield, West Virginia. There, he attended Jones Street Elementary School and was a basketball star at Park Central High School. In 1958, Johnson earned an athletic scholarship to Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where he received a B.A. in history in 1962. That same year, he fulfilled his ROTC obligation by being inducted into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

Johnson served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he was a tank commander for Company A of the 504th Military Battalion. He volunteered for and successfully completed Ranger training and at one time reported directly to General William Westmoreland. Choosing the military as a career, Johnson was drawn to security-related assignments. He served as provost marshal of the North Baden Area, West Germany; provost marshal of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; chief of the U.S. Army Corrections Program; and program manager of the Military Personnel Center.

Johnson went on to earn an M.P.A. from Central Michigan University and an M.A. from Wichita State University. In 1983, Johnson retired from the army and accepted a section chief position with the World Bank, eventually rising to senior manager and division chief. Today he is an executive consultant for Security, Education and Environmental Enterprises. His numerous military awards include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars and the Morgan State University Military Hall of Fame.

Johnson lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Sandra, where he enjoys lecturing on African American history.

See how Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry B. Johnson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson talks about when and where his parents, Joseph Johnson and Eunice Revels, were born
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his father, Joseph Johnson, and his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson describes his mother's, Eunice Revels, family history, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson describes his mother's, Eunice Revels, family history, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson shares stories about his mother, Eunice Revels', immediate family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his mother, Eunice Revels', death and the family members he lived with as a child in Tiptop, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harry B. Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Tiptop, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Bluefield, West Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson talks about going to Jones Street Elementary School, in Bluefield, West Virginia, and his childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson recalls playing sports at Park Central High School in Bluefield, West Virginia and nearly losing an arm from a sports injury
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson recalls being adopted by his aunt, Attie M. Hairston, and her kindness towards him, pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson recalls being adopted by his aunt, Attie M. Hairston, and her kindness towards him, pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson describes regaining the use of his right arm and how his aunt, Attie M. Hairston, took care of him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his activities at Park Central High School in Bluefield, West Virginia and the insensitivity of some teachers and students
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his grades and basketball career at Park Central High School in Bluefield, West Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1958 to 1962
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson describes the ROTC program at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and Colonel Fowler
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson lists football players at Morgan State University and considers the different levels of financial support male and female college students received
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson talks about Benjamin Quarels' classes at Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson talks about Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and HistoryMaker Richard McKinney
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson reflects on meeting Malcom X and his influence
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson reflects on the life lessons he learned at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1958-1962
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson describes a segregated bus ride from Baltimore, Maryland to Louisville, Kentucky in 1962 serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harry B. Johnson shares a story about being kicked out of a drive-in movie in Kentucky and the impact of segregation laws on African Americans in the 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harry B. Johnson talks about racial discrimination while looking for a home and in the U.S. military
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson explains how he became the platoon leader of the 4th Armored Division in the U.S. Army, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson explains how he became the platoon leader of the 4th Armored Division in the U.S. Army, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson talks about racial discrimination and segregation within the U.S. Military in the 1960s and in the present
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson talks about playing basketball in the U.S. Army and the opportunity to play professionally
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson describes his experience in the Vietnam War, pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson describes his experience in the Vietnam War, pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson explains the pitfalls of feeling the need to prove oneself during war
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson talks about the opposition to the Vietnam War from American civilians and the challenges of leading an integrated platoon
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson reflects on how the Vietnam War changed him
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson explains his decision to stay in the U.S. Army professionally
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson talks about the challenging decisions he had to make during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson talks about what he did upon returning from the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson talks about how opposition to the Vietnam War affected him upon returning to the United States
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson describes hearing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s damaging taped conversation which J. Edgar Hoover recorded
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson describes his impression of Reverend Ralph Abernathy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson describes U.S. Army Ranger training
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his second tour of duty in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harry B. Johnson describes how his experience in the U.S. Army led him to work as a Special Assignment Officer in the White House until 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson talks about the history of the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. and its function
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his roles at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and the lack of African Americans employed there
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harry B. Johnson describes the benefits of African Americans working for the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harry B. Johnson shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harry B. Johnson considers what he would do differently in his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Harry B. Johnson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Harry B. Johnson talks about hiking in his free time
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Harry B. Johnson talks about lecturing on African American history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Harry B. Johnson talks about his family's pride in his success
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Harry B. Johnson describes how he'd like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Harry B. Johnson narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Harry B. Johnson narrates his photographs, pt. 2