Gerald W. Johnson

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Gerald White Johnson (1890–March 22, 1980) was a journalist, editor, essayist, historian, biographer, and novelist. Over his nearly 75 year career he was known for being "one of the most eloquent spokespersons for America’s adversary culture."[1]

He was born in Riverton, North Carolina, the son of an editor of a Baptist magazine.[2] He graduated from Wake Forest College in 1910.[2]

During World War I he was a member of the American Expeditionary Force. He was the first professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina. While there he published the first of many books, The Story of Man's Work, a defense of liberal capitalism.[2] He opposed the anti-evolution movement during the "monkey trial" era.

He worked at the Baltimore Evening Sun from 1926 to 1943, when he retired to write for magazines and to concentrate on writing books.[2]

In 1949 he served as the honorary chairman of a committee that advocated against loyalty oaths and in 1950 published an article in Harper's called "Why Communists are Valuable."[2]

He wrote many works on topics in American history, beginning with Andrew Jackson: An Epic in Homespun (1927).[2]

He wrote mystery novels under the pen name of Charles North.[2]

He was a friend and colleague of H. L. Mencken.

He married Kathryn Howard and they had two children.[2] He died in Baltimore on March 22, 1980.[2]


  • Randolph of Roanoke: A Political Fantastic. (New York: Minton, Balch & Co., 1929).

"America's Silver Age - The State craft of Clay Webster Calhoun". (New York and London, Harper & Brothers, 1939).

  • Imperial Republic: Speculations on the Future, If Any, of the Third U.S.A.
  • Incredible Tale:The Odyssey of the Average American in the Last Half Century (Harper, 1950)
  • Roosevelt - Dictator or Democrat
  • The Congress (Morrow, 1963)
  • The Cabinet (Morrow, 1966)
  • This American People (1951)
  • The First Captain: The Story of John Paul Jones. (NY: Coward-McCann, 1947)
  • Pattern for liberty: The Story of Old Philadelphia (1952)
  • America is Born: A History for Peter (1959)
  • America Moves Forward: A History for Peter (Morrow, 1960)
  • America Grows Up: A History for Peter (Morrow, 1960)
  • Hod-carrier: Notes of a Laborer on an Unfinished Cathedral (1964)
  • Woodrow Wilson: The Unforgettable Figure who has Returned to Haunt Us(1944)
  • Communism an American View (Morrow, 1964)
  • The Supreme Court (1968)
  • A Little Night Music (1945)
  • Andrew Jackson An Epic in Homespun
  • American Heroes and Hero-Worship (NY: Harper, 1943)
  • The Lines are Drawn: American Life since the First World War as Reflected in the Pulitzer Prize Cartoons (Lippincott, 1958)
  • The British Empire: An American View of its History from 1776 to 1945 (Morrow, 1969)
  • America-watching : perspectives in the course of an incredible century (1976)


In 1952 Johnson received the Alfred I. duPont Award.[3]



  • Vincent Fitzpatrick, "Disturbing the Peace: Gerald W. Johnson In An Age of Conformity," Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2002, 427-38, available online, accessed December 12, 2010
  • Vincent Fitzpatrick, Gerald W. Johnson: From Southern Liberal to National Conscience (Louisiana State University Press, 2002)