Charles B. Johnson

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Charles B. Johnson
Born Charles Bartlett Johnson
(1933-01-06) January 6, 1933 (age 84)
Montclair, New Jersey
Residence Palm Beach, Florida
Education B.A., Yale University[1]
Occupation Businessman
Net worth Decrease US$4.6 billion
(February 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Ann Demarest Lutes[2]
Children Seven (one deceased)[1]
Parent(s) Rupert Harris Johnson
Florence Endler

Charles Bartlett Johnson (born 1933) is an American businessman. With an estimated current net worth of around $6.4 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 208th-richest person in the world (2015).

Early life[edit]

Charles Bartlett Johnson was born in 1933 in Montclair, New Jersey to Rupert Harris Johnson and Florence Endler. His father and mother divorced during his childhood, leaving Charles to live with his mother and four siblings.[3] His father's second marriage produced Rupert Jr., Charles' later business partner, and two other step-siblings.

Johnson attended Montclair High School, and then Yale College, where he graduated in 1954. At Yale he played offensive guard for the football team and waited dining hall tables as a scholarship student.[3][4] An ROTC cadet, he later served as a lieutenant in the United States Army stationed in Germany.[3]


With his brother Rupert Johnson, Jr., Charles served as Chairman at Franklin Resources, a mutual fund company started by Rupert Sr. in 1947. Johnson is currently principal owner of the MLB San Francisco Giants, although he leaves team control duties to the head of the ownership group, Larry Baer. Other members of the group include Scott Seligman, Peter Magowan, Philip Halperin, Allan Byer, and David S. Wolff.[5]

Philanthropy and political donations[edit]

Johnson is one of his alma mater's largest benefactors, having given considerable sums to athletic and student facilities at Yale. Johnson Field, used for field hockey, was opened in 2001.[6] In 2005, he was the principal donor to a renovation of the Yale Bowl.[6] Johnson has also funded academic programs, including the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy and Brady–Johnson Program in Grand Strategy.[7]

In September 2013, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that Johnson had given $250 million to support the construction of two new residential colleges costing $400 million. The gift was the largest in Yale's history in nominal terms.[8] One of the new colleges has been named for Benjamin Franklin, a personal hero of Johnson's whose name is borne by the family investment firm. This decision has been met with criticism by some Yale students, as Benjamin Franklin, who owned slaves, neither attended nor taught at Yale.[9]

Johnson is one of the largest donors to Republican and Tea-Party-backed political campaigns.[10] Since 2000, he has contributed over $900,000 to the campaigns of Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and Ben Quayle. In 2015, Johnson donated $1 million to a Super PAC supporting the presidential candidacy of Jeb Bush.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Charles is married and has six children (a seventh is deceased). His son, Gregory, currently serves as Chairman and CEO at Franklin Resources. Charles' wife, Ann, who became a medical doctor after raising her family, supervised the notable restoration of the Carolands Chateau.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Forbes: The World's Billionaires: "Charles Johnson" April 2015
  2. ^ a b Fulton History March 28, 1955
  3. ^ a b c Knapp, Gwen (29 September 2012). "Charles Johnson, top Giants owner, keeps low profile". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Historic $250 million gift to Yale from alumnus is largest ever". Yale University, News. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Counterpunch Magazine: "The San Francisco Giants of Real Estate, Tech and Finance" by DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM October 31, 2012
  6. ^ a b "Renovation of Yale Bowl celebrated at The Game". Yale Bulletin & Calendar. 30 November 2007. 
  7. ^ Donnelly, Shannon (3 October 2013). "Johnsons give $250 million to Yale". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Alden, William (30 September 2013). "Mutual Fund Billionaire Gives $250 Million to Yale". New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Remnick, Noah (28 April 2016). "Yale Defies Calls to Rename Calhoun College". New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Lloyd-Thomas, Matthew (5 December 2013). "Yale donor is among nation's top political contributors". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race". New York Times. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.