A successful businessman, friend of The American Legion and employer of veterans,

Johnson received The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1950. His family's business, Endicott-Johnson Shoe Corp., played a vital role in the economy of upstate New York and supplied shoes to the Army during both world wars.

"Many thousands of Endicott-Johnson workers served actively in both world wars. Many returned badly wounded," Past National Commander Edward N. Scheiberling told Legion delegates. "All were reinstated with full employment rights preserved."

Re-employment was a critical part of the company's philosophy, even after World War I, when veterans were not afforded a guarantee. Johnson's uncle, George, said at the time that every veteran could have his previous job back, no matter how badly he was injured.

Johnson started working at a shoe bench, then became superintendent in 1913. By 1930, he was vice president and general manager, making decisions that financially aided families of those at war and promised veterans job training when they returned home. Johnson served as chairman of the board from 1948to 1957.

Devoted to his community, Johnson helped establish Harpur College in Binghamton. He also helped in building of Legion posts in Endicott, Johnson City and Binghamton. He died in 1959, at 71.

For more on Johnson, click here (http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/j/johnson_cf.htm).


View more Distinguished Service Medal recipients