James D. Johnson

Born Aug 20, 1924

James Douglas Johnson, known as Justice Jim Johnson, was a former associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, a two-time candidate for governor of Arkansas in 1956 and 1966, and in 1968 an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate.

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1924 Birth Born on August 20, 1924.


1947 22 Years Old During his legal career, his wife, Virginia Lillian Morris Johnson, a Conway native whom he married in 1947, served as his legal secretary.


1956 31 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1956, he did not run again for the legislature because he challenged Governor Orval Faubus in the Democratic Party primary. … Read More
1957 32 Years Old …  Johnson was elected to the Arkansas State Senate and served until January 1957.
1958 33 Years Old He was elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1958 and served until 1966, when he resigned to run again for governor.


1966 41 Years Old In 1966, Johnson entered the Democratic gubernatorial primary and led the six-candidate field with 105,607 votes (25.1 percent). … Read More


1976 51 Years Old Johnson made three more bids for office. In 1976, he unsuccessfully challenged the re-election bid of Chief Justice Carelton Harris of the Arkansas Supreme Court, but lost with 44% of the vote.
1980 55 Years Old In 1980, expressing alarm that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Richard Adkisson, who Johnson considered too liberal, would succeed Harris as Chief Justice, mounted a petition drive to get on the ballot as an Independent, but fell short of the required signatures. … Read More
1983 58 Years Old In 1983 he did so and ran as the GOP nominee for Chief Justice in 1984, but lost by a 58-42% margin to Jack Holt, Jr., who was a nephew of Frank Holt, whom Johnson defeated for Governor in 1966.


1996 71 Years Old Unlike fellow segregationist George Wallace of Alabama, Johnson, who sometimes refused to shake hands with black voters, was once endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and campaigned against "mongrelization", never apologised. In 1996, he said: "I have to admit that I have not grown to the point where I am not uncomfortable when I see a mixed couple. … Read More
2007 82 Years Old The Johnsons resided in Conway until their deaths, three years apart. Virginia was Jim Johnson's legal secretary for his entire law career. She died of cancer in 2007, and Johnson himself was stricken with the same disease. … Read More
2010 85 Years Old 1 More Event
The Faulkner County Sheriff's Office reported that Johnson was found dead at about 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 13, 2010, at his home off Beaverfork Lake with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. … Read More
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