Edward Johnson III

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Edward Johnson III
Edward Crosby Johnson III

(1930-06-29)June 29, 1930
DiedMarch 23, 2022(2022-03-23) (aged 91)
EducationMilton Academy and Tabor Academy
Alma materHarvard College
OccupationChairman Emeritus, Fidelity Investments
Spouse(s)Elizabeth B. "Lillie" Johnson
Children3; including Abigail

Edward Crosby "Ned" Johnson III (June 29, 1930 – March 23, 2022) was an American billionaire businessman who, along with daughter Abigail Johnson, owned and ran Fidelity Investments and Fidelity International until his death in March 2022. In April 2021, his net worth was estimated at US$8.2 billion.[1]

Early life[edit]

Johnson was the son of Elsie Livingston Johnson and Edward C. Johnson II. He attended prep school at Milton Academy before transferring to Tabor Academy, and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1954.[1]


After a stint in the US Army, he became a research analyst at Fidelity Investments in 1957, a company founded by his father in 1949. He later became the portfolio manager for the Fidelity Trend Fund in 1960 and ran the famous Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1963 to 1977. He then became president of the company in 1972, and chairman and CEO in 1977.

Johnson was the first to begin the practice of permitting check writing on money market funds. He was also the first to sell discount brokerage services to banks, insurance companies, and consumers. He supported and invested in automation of brokerage sales and operations.

In a November 2016, memo to Fidelity employees, Johnson announced he would retire in December and turn over the chairmanship to his daughter Abigail. Although he will no longer be a member of the board of directors, Johnson planned to "maintain office hours ... and continue to consult periodically with Abby."[2]

Society memberships, awards, and honors[edit]

Johnson was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a trustee of the Beth Israel Hospital and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and a member of the Boston Society of Security Analysts.[citation needed]

He has been given honorary doctorates by Boston University, Bentley College and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges.[citation needed] He was an honorary fellow of London Business School.[citation needed]

Wealth and philanthropy[edit]

With an estimated current net worth of around $8.4 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the 57th richest person in America.[3]

In 1965, the US–based Fidelity Foundation was founded by Edward C. Johnson III and his father.[4] The Edward C. Johnson Fund, a $334 million charitable fund,[5] contributes to institutions in the Boston area and beyond.[6]

Personal life[edit]

His wife is Elizabeth B. "Lillie" Johnson, a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts[5] and Winterthur Museum. They resided in Boston.[1]

His daughter Abigail took over the role of CEO of Fidelity Investments and chairman of Fidelity International in 2014. As of 2012, Abigail owned up to 24% of the shares in Fidelity, had a net worth of $10.3 billion and was ranked 29th on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.[7]

His other daughter is Elizabeth L. Johnson. In 2012, it was estimated that Elizabeth had a net worth of roughly $2.5 billion.[8]

His son, Edward Johnson IV, is president of family-owned Pembroke Real Estate. The firm manages 6.5 million square feet of office and residential real estate, including the Boston Seaport.[9] In 2012, Edward's net worth was estimated at $2.5 billion.[8]

Johnson was born in Milton, Massachusetts. He served in the United States Army. On March 23, 2022, Johnson died "peacefully at his home in Florida surrounded by much of his family," according to his daughter Abby Johnson.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Edward Johnson III". Forbes. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Healy, Beth (November 21, 2016). "'Ned' Johnson stepping down as Fidelity chairman". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  3. ^ "Forbes 400 2018". Forbes. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Fidelity Foundation overview" (PDF). Fidelity Foundation. p. 1. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Beth Healy, "Abigail Johnson, after years of training, gets to put her stamp on Fidelity", The Boston Globe, December 5, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "Edward C. Johnson Fund: Grants for Visual Arts", Inside Philanthropy, September 26, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Forbes 400: Abigail Johnson". Forbes. March 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Hidden Johnson billionaires found in Fidelity fund empire". InvestmentNews. November 1, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Edward C. Johnson Fund: Grants for Conservation", Inside Philanthropy, May 10, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "Edward Johnson III fund pioneer who led fidelity dies at 91". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  11. ^ Mutual Fund Billionaire Edward “Ned” Johnson III Dies At 91

External links[edit]