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Edwin Carl Johnson

Gov. Edwin Carl Johnson

  • January 10, 1933 - January 1, 1937
    January 11, 1955 - January 8, 1957
  • Democratic
  • January 1, 1884
  • May 30, 1970
  • Kansas
  • Married Fern Claire Armitage; two children
  • Resigned
  • Senator


EDWIN CARL JOHNSON, Colorado’s 26th and 34th governor was born in Scandia, Kansas, on January 1, 1884. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Nebraska in 1903 and worked as a railroad laborer and train dispatcher in Fairmont, Nebraska. Johnson contracted tuberculosis in 1909 and moved to Colorado to convalesce.  After his successful recovery, he entered politics as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, an office he held from 1923 to 1931. He also served as lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1931 to 1933, and was a U.S. Senator from 1937 to 1955. On November 8, 1932, Johnson was elected Governor of Colorado, and on January 10, 1933 he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term in 1934. During his tenure, he dealt with the difficulties that resulted from the Great Depression. He established his own reform agenda and reorganized statewide government. Included in his programs were a $20-million highway construction plan, a civil service reform policy, a tax reduction, and a balanced budget platform. Johnson left office on January 1, 1937, to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1954. On November 2, 1954, he was reelected to a third term in the governor’s office. During this term, a bill was enacted for vocational training for the blind, and legislation for equal pay for equal work was constituted. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Commission was established, and the U.S. Air Force Academy was instituted. Johnson left office on January 8, 1957, and later served on the Colorado Commission on the Aged and the Upper Colorado River Basin Commission. Governor Edwin C. Johnson died on May 30, 1970, and is buried in the Fairmont Mausoleum in Denver.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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