Elected in 1981
“For distinguished contributions and service in the field of structural engineering and earthquake-resistant design of buildings.”
BY GREGG E. BRANDOW
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
ROY G. JOHNSTON, cofounder of the structural engineering firm Brandow & Johnston and one of the nation’s most prominent structural engineering leaders, died on March 13, 2008, at the age of 94. He had practiced the profession he loved for 67 years, retiring in 2002 at the age of 88.
Roy Johnston enjoyed the practice of structural engineering, and those who were clients, employees, students, and fellow professionals were treated with technical insight, passion, and professionalism. When an engineering conversation mentioned “Roy,” there was never a question who that was. Roy’s legacy in buildings is well over 10,000, and the skyline of Los Angeles is a tribute to his ingenuity and technical skills. Roy influenced the profession of structural engineering and the advancement of seismic design through his involvement from California to Washington, D.C. Roy was one of the most widely admired structural engineers of the 20th century.
Roy G. Johnston was born on January 7, 1914, in Chicago and moved with his Swedish immigrant parents to California’s central valley when he was 7. His father was a cabinetmaker in Sweden and became a carpenter and later a small contractor. After the 1929 stock market crash, the Johnston family moved to the Los Angeles area, where Roy and his brother Paul attended Alhambra High School. His father encouraged the boys to get