John's Top 9 Matches
About John Seward Johnson, I
An heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, John Seward Johnson I founded the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI), and was the grandfather of Jamie Johnson who directed the documentary Born Rich.
He was born on July 14, 1895 in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Robert Wood Johnson I and Evangeline Brewster Armstrong. He had three siblings: Roberta Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson II, and Evangeline Johnson.
With his Bermuda-born wife, Ruth Dill, sister of actress Diana Dill, he had four children.
In 1939, Johnson married Esther Underwood. They had two children: Jennifer Underwood Johnson and James Loring Johnson. The marriage lasted 32 years.
During his marriage to Underwood, he started a relationship with his Polish maid, Barbara Piasecka, whom he married in 1971. He signed his final will on April 14, 1983 and died in Fort Pierce, Florida one month later. In accordance with the terms of the will, Barbara Piasecka Johnson inherited his $402,824,971.59 fortune.
His six children from his first two marriages contested the will on the grounds that he was not mentally competent at the time he signed the will. They were already given money in trusts, but the legal battle ended with an out of court settlement in which the Johnson children received an additional $US 42.5 million to be divided among them. In addition, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution had contested the new will. HBOI eventually received $20 million in the settlement.
Johnson died on May 23, 1983 in Florida.