Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
F. Ross Johnson
Born Frederick Ross Johnson in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a lower-middle-class family, he used a military cadet scholarship program to attend the University of Manitoba where he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He went on to earn an M.B.A. degree from the University of Toronto in 1956. He first worked as an accountant for Canadian General Electric in Montreal and as a vice-president of merchandising for the T. Eaton Company before being named president of Standards Brands Ltd. that led to his appointment as President and CEO of RJR Nabisco in the United States. Johnson appeared on the December 5, 1988 cover of Time Magazine.
Following the RJR Nabisco takeover by the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. led by Henry Kravis, Johnson started his own private investment company, RJM Group, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is Chairman Of AuthentiDate Holding Corp., a United States publicly traded company, and serves on the board of directors of several companies including the American Express Company and Bentley Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Johnson also serves on the advisory board of Power Corporation of Canada.
He was made a Trustee of Duke University and served on the advisory councils of several universities. He has been honored with the United States Silver Medal of Patriotism, the Versailles Award of France and made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Johnson maintains a home in Caledon, Ontario and in Jupiter, Florida. He was extensively profiled in the book Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco and in the movie of the same name (see Barbarians at the Gate (movie)). In the movie, Johnson was portrayed by actor, James Garner.
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