Professor, administrator; b. Toledo, Ohio, Feb. 22, 1889; d. Washington, D.C., June 4, 1944. He was the son of Henry and Kathryn (McCarthy) Johnson. After studying at St. John's University, Toledo, (M.A., 1912), and St. Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, N.Y., he was sent to the North American College, Rome, Italy, where he was ordained in 1914. He served for two years as secretary to Bp. Joseph Schrembs and then left to obtain his doctorate in education (1919) at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He was then diocesan superintendent of schools at Toledo until 1921, when Bp. Thomas J. Shahan appointed him professor of education at Catholic University, a post he held until his death.
In addition to his teaching, he served (1923–27) as assistant at neighboring St. Anthony parish, where he was in charge of the parochial school. He was also director of the Campus School of The Catholic University from its inception in 1935. In 1928–29 Johnson was appointed director of the Department of Education of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and secretary general of the National Catholic Educational Association. These posts, which he held until his death, gave him national influence on American education and led to appointments on several presidential committees. When the Commission on American Citizenship was founded at Catholic University by the American hierarchy in 1938, Johnson was named to its executive committee. In 1943 he was made director of this commission. He wrote the commission's statement of principles, Better Men for Better Times (1943), as well as a study of Catholic elementary school curricula, three textbooks on Bible and Church history, and several periodical articles. In November 1942 he was named domestic prelate by Pius XII.
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