Harry E. Johnson, Sr.
Harry E. Johnson Sr., an attorney in Houston, is the president of
the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National
Memorial Project, Inc., which is constructing the first
memorial on the National Mall to honor an African American.
Johnson earned the bachelor’s degree in political science at Xavier University of New Orleans. He has completed graduate studies in public administration at Washington University in St. Louis and earned the doctor of jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston.
From 2001 to 2004, Johnson served as the national (general) president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., an organization of more than 175,000 college-educated men. He spearheaded such innovative programs as the value-added services program, which allowed fraternity members to receive discounts on goods and services from participating vendors while at the same time created a new revenue stream for the fraternity.
Johnson also created an Economic Development Foundation for the fraternity. Through this program, the fraternity made an unprecedented, $30-million deal with Church’s Chicken (AFC) that allows its members to develop up to 50 Church’s Chicken restaurants in urban areas across the country. The focus on economic empowerment and job creation continued as Johnson worked to bring on another partner, Dominoes Pizza.
Other accomplishments include: the creation of a Political Action Committee—chaired by the Honorable Marc Morial, the former mayor of New Orleans; the extension of the role and membership of Alpha Phi Alpha’a Think Tank (World Policy Council)—including adding new members Cornell West and Congressman Ronald Dellums (Ret. Calif.); and the addition of a lecture series on tolerance and a focus on the issue of HIV infections and AIDS to The World Policy Council’s role. Under Johnson’s leadership, Alpha Phi Alpha provided the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization with more African American role models than ever before in its 100-year history. Johnson’s vision of growth led Big Brothers Big Sisters to elect him to its national board. He also is a member of the national board of One Hundred Black Men
Among Johnson’s professional affiliations are the National Bar Association, American Bar Association, NAACP and Boy Scouts of American. Texas Governor Rick Perry. also appointed Johnson to the Texas Southern University Board of Regents.
Johnson has been married for 24 years to his wife, Karen. They reside in Houston and have three children: Jennifer, Harry Jr. and Nicholas.