Charles B. Johnson: A Life in Business and Philanthropy

Charles B. Johnson is an American billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and part-owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. He is the former chairman and CEO of Franklin Resources, Inc., a global investment management firm. Johnson is a major Republican donor and has been involved in several philanthropic endeavors.

Early Life and Education

Charles Bartlett Johnson was born on January 6, 1933, in Montclair, New Jersey. His father, Rupert H. Johnson, Sr., was a stockbroker who founded Franklin Distributors, Inc. in 1947. Johnson attended Yale University, where he played football and majored in economics. After graduating from Yale, Johnson served in the United States Army for two years.

Business Career

In 1957, Johnson joined Franklin Distributors, Inc. as president and CEO. He became chairman of the company in 1969 and served in that role until 2003. Under Johnson’s leadership, Franklin Resources grew into a global investment management firm with over $1 trillion in assets under management. Johnson is credited with turning Franklin Resources into one of the most successful mutual fund companies in the world.


Johnson is a major donor to a number of philanthropic causes. He is a trustee of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the San Francisco Symphony. He is also a board member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

San Francisco Giants

In 1992, Johnson and a group of investors purchased the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Johnson has been a vocal advocate for the Giants and has helped to keep the team in San Francisco. The Giants won the World Series in 2002, 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Political Activism

Johnson is a major Republican donor. He has supported the campaigns of a number of Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush. Johnson is also a critic of President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act.

Personal Life

Johnson is married to Ann Demarest Lutes. They have four children. Johnson lives in San Francisco, California.

Charles B. Johnson is a successful businessman, philanthropist, and sports team owner. He is a major Republican donor and has been involved in several philanthropic endeavors. Johnson is a respected figure in the business and philanthropic communities.