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Gary T. Johnson with First Lady Michelle Obama and Joyce Chiu at the IMLS Award ceremony at the White House, 2016.

Gary T. Johnson

Gary T. Johnson was named the eighth President of the Chicago History Museum in August 2005. Mr. Johnson is a lifelong Chicagoan, and his passion for Chicago history is evident through his leadership at the Chicago History Museum, focusing on community outreach and strengthening the institution’s capacity to serve its mission of sharing Chicago’s stories. Visiting Chicago’s grade schools to share artifacts from the Museum’s collection is a personal commitment for Johnson. He has visited more than 350 classrooms in neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

My desire for Chicagoans is not only to access our collections and programs, but also to experience their own Chicago story.

Mr. Johnson also served for ten years as president of Museums in the Park, the association of eleven of Chicago’s major museums. Johnson has a record of leadership in the civic arena, particularly in civil rights. Mr. Johnson came to the Museum after twenty-eight years as a lawyer and partner in the Chicago offices of two global law firms.  He specialized in international matters.

Education: Harvard University (J.D. 1977); Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar; M.A. Modern History 1974); Yale University (Phi Beta Kappa; A.B. summa cum laude, History and Political Science 1972)

Read Mr. Johnson’s extended biography

Visit Mr. Johnson’s website, Chicago History

Learn about History Around Town

Read Lessons Learned About Nonprofit Management and Finance, by Gary T. Johnson and Russell Lewis


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories