Imogene Powers Johnson Biography & Net Worth

Popular Name: Gene Johnson
Real Name: Imogene Powers Johnson
Birth Date: September 3, 1930
Birth Place: United States
Age: Died on March 3, 2018 (aged 87)
Gender: Female
Nationality/Citizenship: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Spouse(s): Samuel Curtis Johnson Jr.
Children: 4
Profession: Businesswoman
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $3 Billion
Last Updated: 2022

Born on September 3, 1930, and died on March 3, 2018, Imogene Powers Johnson was a noteworthy woman whose humility, intelligence, grace, and beauty were similarly matched by her strength of character, infinite compassion, and lifelong zeal for education and learning. She was a devoted wife, a loving daughter, and sister, as well as an incredible and committed mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was an American businesswoman and billionaire who lived in Racine, Wisconsin, US. After graduating from Cornell University where she bagged a Bachelor’s degree, she met and later married Samuel Curtis Johnson, chief executive officer of SC Johnson and Company at the time, and gave birth to their four children, who all attended Cornell University as well. After her husband passed away in 2004, Mrs. Johnson inherited control of the SC Johnson company. Her son, H. Fisk Johnson, is currently the chief executive officer of the company while her daughter, Helen, manages Johnson Outdoors and Johnson Financial. Mrs. Johnson was the founding director and chair of the Prairie School, a preparatory school that was initially started to educate the children of SC Johnson Company workers but has since expanded to become its own institution. She is remembered for many other things, including for donating large portions of her wealth to the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell, an establishment that is named after her family. This article continues in the next paragraph with all the information you may be needing concerning the life and outstanding career of this revered icon.

Early Life

Also called Gene by family and loved ones, Imogene Powers Johnson’s determination and persistence were forged as a little girl growing up against World War II uncertainties and the backdrop of post-Depression struggles. She was born on September 3, 1930, in the United States where she later attended Cornell University on an academic scholarship from the Standard Oil Company, rounding up her business at the tertiary institution with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in the year 1952.

Professional Life

After graduating from Cornell, Gene joined Ryan Aeronautical in San Diego, California, where she was employed as an Engineer’s Mathematician, contributing to the development of the world’s first aeronautical computer.

In 1954, two years after she earned her bachelor’s degree, she married her college boyfriend, Samuel Curtis Johnson, and moved to their new home in Racine, Wisconsin. Theirs was an extraordinary relationship built on a shared passion for fun and adventure, and a resolute commitment to family, community and to helping society by “giving back more than we take from the world.” She believed there is no greater instrument of empowerment than education, and she devoted most of her lifetime to advancing educational opportunities for children. In 1965, she established The Prairie School in Racine, Wisconsin with the determination to bring out the best in every child, of being a place where the average child is inspired to learn and thrive as an individual who cares about other people and about contributing to make the world a better place.

Together with her husband, Gene provided foundational support for the launch and development of the 21st Century Preparatory School, the first independent charter school in Racine. She was also contributory to the establishment and development of the River Bend Nature Center wildlife refuge, acquiring and donating much of its 80 acres, and providing support for its outdoor recreational opportunities and environmental education programs. She quietly and generously supported several regional museums and institutions to foster community-wide educational opportunities.

In addition to serving as Director and Chairman of The Prairie School, Imogene Powers Johnson was a Director of The Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and presidential councillor at Cornell University. She was a Life Trustee of The Adler Planetarium in Chicago and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Johnson Foundation.


Gene was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Personal Life

Imogene Powers Johnson had a romantic relationship with Sam Johnson during their time at Cornell University. Two years after she graduated, she married him and they had four children together. He passed away in 2004, and she in 2018.

Left to always remember her well-lived life are her four children: S. Curtis Johnson, Helen Johnson-Leipold, Fisk Johnson, and Winnie Marquart, and her thirteen grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, in addition to her sister-in-law, Marianne Powers, and many nieces and nephews. Others include her extended family and friends, staff and students of The Prairie School, associates of Johnson Bank, and workers of SC Johnson, Johnson Outdoors, and Johnson Keland Management, to whom Mrs. Gene was the greatly-admired and cherished matriarch of the family.

Her first son, S. Curtis Johnson, is the former Chairman of JohnsonDiversey, Inc. Her first daughter, Helen Johnson-Leipold, is the Chairman of Johnson Bank and Chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Outdoors. H. Fisk Johnson, the third of Gene’s four children, is the Chairman of the SC Johnson company presently, while Winnie Marquart, the last born, is the President of The Samuel C. Johnson Family Foundation.

In her spare time, Gene was an amateur astronomer, an avid birdwatcher, horticulturalist, rockhound, and unapologetic nature lover.

Imogene Powers Johnson Net Worth

The Cornell University Alumna, Imogene Powers Johnson, had a net worth of $3 billion dollars at the time of her demise in 2018. She lived as a businesswoman who married Samuel Curtis Johnson and inherited his fortune, a share of the SC Johnson company following his death in 2004.

A respected mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Mrs. Gene lived in Racine, Wisconsin, US, where she was one of the few billionaire businesswomen. Her children currently control the family’s businesses and foundation.

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