Johnson, Jr., George R.
George Robert Johnson, Jr. was born in Columbus, GA, on February 25, 1951, to the late Jimmie Lee Hunt Johnson and the late George R. Johnson, Sr. He departed this life on November 15, 2020, after a courageous battle with lung cancer.
He attended the public schools of Columbus, graduating from Carver High School in 1969 as class valedictorian.
George left Columbus in the fall of 1969 for Amherst College, graduating in 1973 with a bachelor of arts in American studies. While at Amherst, he played an active role in the Afro American Society, was vice chair of The Amherst Student, the college newspaper, and was class speaker at graduation. After Amherst, George matriculated at Columbia Law School, earning his juris doctorate in 1976.
Johnson started his legal career as assistant counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs. The Carter administration welcomed him to the Executive Office of the President in 1979 as assistant general counsel for the White House Council on Wage and Price Stability.
His teaching career began in 1981 as a faculty member at George Mason University School of Law. In 1988, he joined Howard University School of Law as a visiting professor. He went on to become the associate dean for academic affairs in 1992. George served from 1996 to 2002 as president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee. He then entered private practice in 2003 at Saint Louis & Johnson law firm in Washington, D.C.
George joined the founding faculty of Elon University School of Law in 2006. He then served as the school's first associate dean of academic affairs. In 2009, he was named dean of the law school. It was under George's leadership that the law school received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. He remained dean until his decision to return to the faculty ranks in 2014.
Earlier this year, George was named as one of five 2020 Legal Legends of Color, a recognition bestowed by the North Carolina Bar Association's Minorities in the Profession Committee. He was board chair of the National Center for Community and Justice (NCCJ) Greensboro, a member of the board of Triad Stage, as well as Greensboro College, and his alma mater, Amherst College. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and Beta Epsilon Boule of Sigma Pi Phi. A devout Christian, George chaired the Deacon Board at Shiloh Baptist Church (Washington, D.C.), and served on the Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the Deacon Board at Providence Baptist Church, in addition to several other service positions throughout his life.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife, Linda; their son, William (Kerry), and two grandchildren, Nina and Theodore. They mourn his passing alongside three sisters, Brenda Powers of Decatur, GA, Barbara Ann Johnson of Columbus, GA and Carolyn Edmonds of Atlanta, GA; one brother, Michael Johnson of Columbus, GA, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Private funeral arrangements coordinated by Perry J. Brown Funeral Home of Greensboro, NC. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either Amherst College or the Wake Forest Baptist Cancer Center Discovery Fund in George's memory.
Published by Greensboro News & Record on Nov. 20, 2020.