Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)–Fisk University joins the Johnson family in mourning the loss of Jeh Vincent Johnson, son of the iconic 6th President of Fisk University Charles Spurgeon Johnson and the father of former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson.
An architect, educator and mentor, Mr. Johnson died in New York on January 27, 2021.
Mr. Johnson was born in Nashville and grew up on the Fisk campus where his father was professor of sociology, prior to becoming the first Black president of Fisk University. He attended St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School and Pearl High School in Nashville. After high school, he attended Columbia College and Columbia School of Architecture where he became class president.
A successful architect, Mr. Johnson was noted for his work in the field of multi-family housing. As a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), he became chair of the National Committee on Housing. In 1977 he was elected to the AIA’s college of fellows, the highest honor for a practicing American architect. It has been noted that he had substantial influence on urban development, on young minority and female architects and on the profession of architecture.
As an educator, Mr. Johnson taught at Vassar College for 37 years. He inspired hundreds of students to pursue successful careers as architects and as teachers in design schools around the country.
As a mentor, along with four male colleagues at the AIA national Convention in Detroit in 1971, he helped to form the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). This grew out of their desire to elevate minority architects, especially young Latino and Black students, who were unknown to the public. In 1977, he was awarded a special citation for his advocacy on behalf of equal opportunity and housing issues by the New York chapter of the AIA.
He will be remembered for his commitment to families and humane values in architecture and urban design which improved the quality of the lives of thousands of Americans.
The immediate Fisk-Johnson legacy also includes his brother Robert Burgette Johnson, Ph.D. ’42; his sister, Patricia Johnson Clifford ’45; his brother and his brother’s wife, Charles S. Johnson, Jr. M.D. ’42 and Rosamond Darden Johnson ’44.
We ask that you keep the Johnson Family in your thoughts and prayers.