Gen. Robert Wood Johnson

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Gen. Robert Wood Johnson's Geni Profile

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Robert Wood Johnson, II

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
Death: Died
Cause of death: Liver cancer
Place of Burial: New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Wood Johnson, I and Evangeline Brewster Johnson
Ex-husband of Margaret Shea and Elizabeth Dixon Ross
Father of Robert Wood Johnson, III
Brother of J. Seward Johnson and Evangeline Love Brewster Merrill
Half brother of Roberta Johnson

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gen. Robert Wood Johnson

Robert Wood Johnson II was a United States businessman. He was the president of Johnson & Johnson between 1932 and 1938, and chairman of the board from 1938 until 1963. He was the son of the founder of J&J, Robert Wood Johnson I. He managed the company during the period of growth where J&J became an international corporation.

Johnson held a reserve commission in the Quartermaster Corps during the 1930s. In World War II, he became a brigadier general and served as chairman of the Small War Plants Corporation (SWPC). During his tenure the SWPC was said to have saved "Small Industry" in America. Johnson personally over saw war contracts given to more than 6,000 companies. However, while in Washington Johnson made many adversaries and was forced to resign, in 1943. Johnson told newspapers that he was too ill to continue.

His involvement in identifying products needed by the war effort resulted in the Permacell division of Johnson & Johnson inventing duct tape for sealing ammunition boxes. They simply took their existing cloth medical adhesive tape, added a waterproof plastic layer with a more aggressive adhesive and produced it in olive green to match the ammunition cans.

Also during the war Johnson & Johnson would be a major supplier for combat first aid kits and other military supplies. In 1941 Johnson started the Ethicon subsidiary.

From about 1946-1971 much of J&J ad account was guided by Arthur M. Menadier managing marketing and advertising from three agencies before retiring as EVP from Young and Rubicam charge.

His son, Robert Wood Johnson III, was the president of Johnson & Johnson from 1963 to 1965. In 1964 there was a falling out, and Robert Wood Johnson II, as chairman, fired his son.

Robert Wood Johnson II died on January 30, 1968, and left the bulk of his $400,000,000 estate to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His children already had been provided for in a series of trusts. Johnson was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick.

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Gen. Robert Wood Johnson's Timeline

April 4, 1893
New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
September 9, 1920
Age 27
New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
January 30, 1968
Age 74
New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States