Jim Johnson

1943 – 2020

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson

Dear Friends,

With the heaviest hearts, we are sharing with you the very sad news that we’ve lost our dear Jim this morning. Jim passed away peacefully at home just before the first light of day.  

Jim was born nearly 77 years ago in Benson, Minnesota. Though he left Benson, Benson never left him. Over his last few days he spoke often of going “home”. 

Few people touched so many lives as intimately as Jim did. Over the last few days, we’ve received hundreds of messages from friends, family, former colleagues and mentees. We’ve read letters to him at his bedside relating stories of the life-changing advice he gave, generous favors he bestowed, and impactful contributions to his city, country and world. Each message brought him joy. 

We’ll miss Jim with our whole hearts, but we’re steadied by the belief that he lives on through his friends, the institutions he served, and his family. 

The Kennedy Center has generously offered to host a memorial for Jim, which we plan to do in-person as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we plan to hold a virtual memorial in the coming weeks. We will send details as soon as we have them and hope you will join us in a celebration of his extraordinary life. 

One of Jim’s great legacies is the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, which offers free performances every night of the year. A new fund has been established in his honor and donations can be made through the button below.


Heather & Alfred


Donations may be made to: