Born on November 2, 1929 in Manchester, England, Johnson later studied at Stonyhurst College where he received a Jesuit education. After graduating from Oxford, Johnson spent his National service in the army at Gibraltar before becoming an assistant editor to a French newspaper. He also worked as a Paris correspondent for the New Statesman. Johnson had a very liberal viewpoint, and he moved to London in order to write full-time for the New Statesman. He eventually held the position of editor, and over time, his stance on issues swerved more to a right-leaning conservative.
A vocal opponent of Britain's trade unions, Johnson supported Margaret Thatcher, who he had known at Oxford as an independent thinker. Johnson advised Thatcher and wrote some of her speeches. A prolific writer, Johnson has written more than 40 books on topics such as art, history, religion, travel, and politics. He bemoans society's moral deficiencies, decries evolution, and denounces Communism. A few of his books include: The Birth of the Modern, Modern Times, and A History of the American People. He has also contributed numerous articles to magazines and newspapers such as the Daily Mail, the Spectator, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Johnson received a prestigious award in 2006 from President George W. Bush—the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest award given to a civilian in peacetime for his significant service contributions. Johnson lives in England with his wife Marigold Hunt and continues his work as a historian, journalist, and author.
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