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Memorial book release to be held for late journalist and Louisville native Bruce Johnson

To remember the life of Johnson, a memorial book release and reception will be held on Aug. 11 at the Muhammad Ali Center at 5:30 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Editor's Note: The video in the player originally aired on April 4, 2022.

He had a career spanning 40 plus year in the broadcast industry.

Louisville native Bruce Johnson had quite the resume – 22 Emmy Awards and a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award, one of the highest a journalist can achieve just a few of his many accolades.

Johnson was born in 1950 and attended Shawnee High School, later studying at Kentucky State University and Northern Kentucky University where he earned a degree in political science. He would go on to earn a master’s in public affairs from the University of Cincinnati.

One of his first summer jobs was at WLOU Radio. Johnson spent much of his journalism career at WUSA (formerly WTOP-TV) in Washington D.C.

Johnson would work 44 years as a reporter, working his way up the ladder to become an evening news anchor. He covered stories all over the world.

Johnson was also a writer and released three books. His current book, “Surviving Deep Waters: A Legendary Reporter’s Story of Overcoming Poverty, Race, Violence and his Mother’s Deepest Secret” was released back in February.

He was supposed to go on a tour to support the book’s release but died on April 3 at the age of 71.

To remember the life of Johnson, a memorial book release and reception will be held on Aug. 11 at the Muhammad Ali Center at 5:30 p.m.

Organizer and former classmate Janis Carter Miller said, “I was proud of my friend and classmate's accomplishments. He was my classmate at Shawnee and KSU. He was elegant and eloquent! His character and his carriage were distinguished and sophisticated! Bruce's tone of voice and articulation was eloquent. Facilitating a 45-year career in journalism. I was honored that he has entrusted the coordination of his book signing now since his untimely passing, to me and my goal is to pay special tribute to his accomplishments.”

Miller said Johnson was raised on Grand Avenue down the street from Muhammad Ali in the Chickasaw neighborhood.

I remember when Johnson returned to Louisville to cover Ali’s funeral in 2016. He helped WHAS11’s News team with coverage that week, bringing a personal angle to the coverage.

The memorial book release and reception is an opportunity for family and friends he grew up with, former classmates, members of his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi and fellow journalists of the Louisville Black Association of Journalists a chance to gather and share memories.

The husband, father, grandfather, and journalist always recognized that he was from Louisville.

Raised by a single mother, he experienced hardships as a youth but overcoming many obstacles to become one of the most respected anchors in his field.

The event is open to the public.

 ►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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