Edwin Carl Johnson (January 1, 1884 – May 30, 1970) was an American politician of the Democratic Party who served as both governor of and U.S. senator from the state of Colorado.

Ed Johnson
26th and 34th Governor of Colorado
In office
January 11, 1955 – January 8, 1957
LieutenantStephen McNichols
Preceded byDaniel I. J. Thornton
Succeeded byStephen McNichols
In office
January 10, 1933 – January 1, 1937
LieutenantRay Herbert Talbot
Preceded byBilly Adams
Succeeded byRay Herbert Talbot
United States Senator
from Colorado
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1955
Preceded byEdward Costigan
Succeeded byGordon Allott
25th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado
In office
January 13, 1931 – January 10, 1933
GovernorBilly Adams
Preceded byGeorge Milton Corlett
Succeeded byRay Herbert Talbot
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Edwin Carl Johnson

January 1, 1884
Scandia, Kansas, U.S.
DiedMay 30, 1970(1970-05-30) (aged 86)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Resting placeFairmount Mausoleum
Political partyDemocratic

Background edit

Johnson was born in Scandia in Republic County in northern Kansas. As a child, he moved with his family to Elsie, Perkins County, Nebraska and then to Lincoln, Nebraska. Johnson attended Lincoln High School under the tutelage of William Jennings Bryan, 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 in Fillmore County in southeastern Nebraska. In 1909, Johnson contracted tuberculosis and was advised to relocate to Colorado, where the climate was believed helpful in his medical situation. After recovering from the disease he settled together with his wife near Craig, Colorado.[1]

Career edit

Beginning in 1923, Johnson served in the Colorado House of Representatives for four terms. He was lieutenant governor from 1931 to 1933. He represented Colorado for three terms in the United States Senate from 1937 until 1955, during which time from 1937 to 1940 he was an intraparty critic of the New Deal policies of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[2] Johnson served as the 26th and 34th governor of Colorado from January 10, 1933 until January 1, 1937 and from January 11, 1955 until January 8, 1957.[3] He opposed FDR’s New Deal policies.[4]

Ingrid Bergman incident edit

He was perhaps best known for presenting a speech on March 14, 1950, on the Senate floor, criticizing the extramarital affair of actress Ingrid Bergman, who at the time was married to Petter Lindström. Bergman's affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini became a cause célèbre as a result of Johnson's speech, forcing her to relocate to Europe for several years. Johnson then proposed a bill where movies would be licensed based on the perceived morality of the actors/actresses and stated that Bergman “had perpetrated an assault upon the institution of marriage,” and called her “a powerful influence for evil.”

Prior to the discovery of her affair, Ingrid Bergman had been Johnson’s favorite actress. He felt that he had been deceived by the incident, and wished to ban her from any future Hollywood productions.[4]

Bergman returned to Hollywood in the 1956 blockbuster film Anastasia. In 1972, Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois entered an apology into the Congressional Record for Johnson’s attack, which had been made on Bergman twenty-two years earlier.[5]

Atomic bombs edit

Johnson is also known for the alternative he presented to mankind in November 1945: "God Almighty in His infinite wisdom [has] dropped the atomic bomb in our lap." Now for the first time the United States, "with vision and guts and plenty of atomic bombs," could "compel mankind to adopt the policy of lasting peace … or be burned to a crisp."[6]

Sport affiliations edit

Johnson was also the President of the Western 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 in 1968 into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Death and legacy edit

He died at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver and is interred at the Fairmount Mausoleum at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. The eastbound bore of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel is named for Johnson.[7]

References edit

  1. ^ https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Edwin%20Johnson.pdf Archived October 16, 2020, at the Wayback Machine [bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ David M. Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), p. 276, ISBN 978-0-253-35683-3
  3. ^ "Edwin Carl Johnson". National Governors Association. January 13, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Stern, Marlow (November 21, 2015). "When Congress Slut-Shamed Ingrid Bergman". The Daily Beast – via www.thedailybeast.com.
  5. ^ "Ingrid Bergman Gets Apology for Senate Attack (Published 1972)". The New York Times. April 29, 1972. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  6. ^ John Lewis Gaddis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947, (New York & London: Columbia University Press, 1972), p 245.
  7. ^ "About the Eisenhower Tunnel".

External links edit

Other sources edit

  • 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)
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Colorado
1932, 1934
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado
(Class 2)

1936, 1942, 1948
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Colorado
Served alongside: Alva B. Adams, Eugene D. Millikin
Succeeded by