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Edwin C. Johnson

Edwin C. Johnson

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Edwin Carl Johnson was a Democratic Party politician who served as Governor of the state of Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...



Edwin Carl Johnson was born in Scandia, Kansas
Scandia, Kansas
Scandia is a city in Republic County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 372.-History:The first American flag to be flown in what is now Kansas was raised near Scandia in 1806. It wasn't settled until 1868 by Swedes fleeing a famine in their native country, and...

. He moved with his family to Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
The City of Lincoln is the capital and the second-most populous city of the US state of Nebraska. Lincoln is also the county seat of Lancaster County and the home of the University of Nebraska. Lincoln's 2010 Census population was 258,379....

 as a child. Johnson had the privilege to attend Lincoln High under the tutelage of William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

, who was serving as a substitute teacher. After graduation in 1903 Johnson pursued his dream of becoming a railroad man, and after numerous positions became a train dispatcher/telegrapher at Fairmont, Nebraska
Fairmont, Nebraska
Fairmont is a village in Fillmore County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 560 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Fairmont is located at ....

. In 1909 Johnson contracted tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 and was advised to go to Colorado where the climate was believed to be the cure.


Beginning in 1923, Johnson served in the Colorado House of Representatives for four consecutive terms. He was lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1931 to 1933. He represented his state for three terms in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1937 until 1955, and served as the 26th and 34th Governor
Governor of Colorado
The Governor of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the...

 of Colorado from January 10, 1933 until January 1, 1937 and from January 12, 1955 until January 8, 1957.

He was perhaps best known for making a speech on the Senate floor criticizing the extramarital affair of actress Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute...

, who at the time was married to Petter Lindström. Bergman's affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Rossellini was one of the directors of the Italian neorealist cinema, contributing films such as Roma città aperta to the movement.-Early life:Born in Rome, Roberto Rossellini lived on the Via Ludovisi, where Benito Mussolini had...

 became a cause celebre as a result of Johnson's speech, forcing her to escape to Europe for several years until her return in the 1956 blockbuster film Anastasia.

Johnson was also the President of the Western League
Western League (defunct minor league)
The Western League is a name given to several circuits in American minor league baseball. Its earliest progenitor, which existed from 1885 to 1899, was the predecessor of the American League...

, a Class A baseball league, from 1947 to 1955. He was instrumental in the construction of Bears Stadium / Mile High Stadium, and was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1968. He died in Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

 and was interred in the Fairmount Mausoleum
Fairmount Mausoleum (Denver, Colorado)
Fairmount Mausoleum is a public mausoleum at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. The building was designed by architects Frederick E. Mountjoy and Francis W. Frewan...

 at Fairmount Cemetery
Fairmount Cemetery (Denver, Colorado)
Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado was founded in 1890 and is Denver's second oldest operating cemetery after Riverside Cemetery. It was designed by German landscape architect Reinhard Schuetze...

 in Denver. The eastbound bore of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel is named for Johnson.

External links

Other sources

  • McCarthy, William T. Horse Sense: The Divided Politics of Edwin C. Johnson, 1923 - 1954 (Greeley, Co.: University of Northern Colorado, Unpublished Masters Thesis, 1996)
  • McCarty, Patrick Fargo Big Ed Johnson: A Political Portrait (Boulder, Co.: University of Colorado, Unpublished Master’s Thesis, 1958)