Mr. Johnson was born in 1888 and began his transportation career during World War I with the Highway Transportation Commission. He served with the Automobile Manufacturer's Association from 1919 until 1942 and for the last four years was their Executive Vice President. He became the Automotive Safety Foundation's first full time President in 1942 and held this position for 11 years until he retired in 1953.
He was later Chief of Staff for the Clay Commission on Highways and Chairman of the Highway Research Board's Urban Transportation Planning Department.
He was the recipient during his lifetime of the George S. Bartlett Highway Award, the French Legion of Honor and the US Department of Commerce Citation. He also received honorary Doctor of Public Science and Doctor of Humanities degrees.