Eric S. Moses Edowu Johnson M.D.; Ph.D

January 1, 1945April 10, 2019

Eric S. Johnson passed away on April 10 2019. Eric was the 3rd child of six children born to the late Ola and Vivi Johnson of Percival Street, Freetown Sierra Leone.

He was a long time resident of Ft. Worth, TX and Little Rock, AR since 2005.

He attended St. Edward’s Primary School to the fifth form. He went on to 6th form at the Sierra Leone Grammar School where he graduated high school.

He did his first year B.Sc. studies at Fourah Bay College, in Freetown, Sierra Leone before going on to obtain a British scholarship to attend The University of New Castle Upon-Tyne where he studied medicine. He obtained his medical degree MB.BS in 1970 and did his internships at Sunderland General and Bromley by-Bow in London. He later went on to The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he obtained a Diploma in Tropical Public Health (DTPH) in 1972. He returned to his native Sierra Leone and worked in Bo from 1973 – 1976 at the CDC centers for disease control as Principle Medical Officer. He was later transferred to Freetown as PMO in 1976-1977 Cline Town heading the clinics there.

In 1977 he obtained a WHO world health Organization scholarship to attend Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, USA where he pursued an MPH. He graduated from Harvard in 1978 going on to Johns Hopkins School of public health where he completed a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and was the first recipient of the Mary B. Meyer award of Excellence. He was also elected into prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, in recognition of academic excellence in science.

In 1982 he went on to take a position with World Health Organization in Lyon France where he established an International Registry for Cancer Prevalence. Returning to the US in 1986 as a visiting scientist with NIH National Institutes of Health Raleigh North Carolina where achieved an extensive body of research on various Cancers.

In 1993 took up a position as Associate Professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Hygiene. He left his position at Tulane in 2005 after Katrina and took up a position as Professor and Chairman of two departments at the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, Fort Worth in 2006. In 2012 he accepted a position as Chair and professor at the University of Arkansas (UAMS).

He took up his last position in Arkansas as professor and former chairman of two departments where he remained until up to a few months following a brief illness and his death on April 10, 2019.

Eric's work body of work is renowned throughout the public health and epidemiological world. His research is best exemplified by his comprehensive and thorough investigations of cancer among workers in the meat industry. In addition to analytical epidemiological studies, he conducted extensive experiments on animal oncogenic viruses. These experiments have identified several biomarkers. His body of research has helped identify a number of cancer risk factors in the meat industry, including oncogenic viruses, industrial chemical and radiation. Few others in his field of investigations are comparable to Dr. Johnson's work in depth and breath.

He had many colleagues, acquaintances, and a cadre of students from all corners of the world who looked up to him and whom he mentored. They admired his intellect, work ethic and contribution to his field. He was extremely hard working, disciplined and focused.

Eric was not only an academician but an all-rounder, natural born athlete. He was an avid sports fan. He enjoyed playing soccer, tennis, ping pong and later continued to stay physically fit by going to the gym several days a week. He loved watching sports games on TV was a supporter of several college and professional sports, teams to include Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bulls and more recently the University of Alabama. He played the piano and guitar.

He was a very private person who enjoyed spending his leisure time with family close relatives and friends.

He is survived by, Edwina-Jane; children, Delin, Sesin, and Janelin; grandchildren, Daelin, Jackson, Kara, Sesin Jr., and Jodi; and siblings, Ivy, Iva, Claudette, Ada, and Claudius; and other family members.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Burn Program at Arkansas Children’s, 1 Children’s Way Slot #225, Little Rock, AR 72202.


26 April


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

9651 - Laurel Land Funeral Home


27 April


10:00 am - 12:00 pm

9651 - Laurel Land Funeral Home


27 April

Funeral Service

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Christ United Methodist Church

3301 Sycamore School Road
Fort Worth, TX 76123

27 April

Committal Service

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

9651 - Laurel Land Memorial Park


27 April


3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Christ United Methodist Church

3301 Sycamore School Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76123


Eric S. Moses Edowu Johnson M.D.; Ph.D

have a memory or condolence to add?

Eugenia Chinsman

April 20, 2019

Eric Johnson was one of the most brilliant doctors I have ever known. I worked with him in Sierra Leone and I know that the Chief Medical Officer of Health at that time Dr. Marcella Davies loved and respected Eric's Intellect in the field of epidemiology. We have lost a great man! My deepest condolences to his family . May his soul rest in perfect peace!

Kenneth Vigbedor

April 18, 2019

Dear Johnson Family,

I am saddened by your loss and offer my sincerest condolences. Dr. Johnson was a very very professional and delightful gentleman. His absence will be deeply and greatly felt. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Psalm 34:18

Antonio Rene

April 17, 2019

To the Johnson Family,

I am deeply saddened by your loss and I offer my sincere condolences during this difficult time. I knew Eric as a friend for many years. Eric was a champion to all of us. They say it takes a long time to make an old friend. Eric touched us all with his kindness. We will miss our dear friend.

Irene and Desire Chedjieu

April 16, 2019

We still cannot believe this great man is gone. My husband and I considered Dr. Johnson as family, as a father to us. He was a genuine man, there are things in life you cannot describe with words......

Dr. Johnson had ears for everyone, helping hand for everyone, a piece of advice for everyone, a given heart for everyone...those who came across his path will never remain the same....
We cherish our memory with you Dr. Johnson, Tulane students lunches/dinners at your house (he cooked the best African food ever for his students), your advice, your research studies one will greatly learn from, your publications; etc.,

As the French writer Hampate Ba said : « Un vieillard qui meurt, c’est une bibliothèque qui brûle »... big loss for the entire world...

This is a passage from one of our favorite Gospel, just for you our "dad", Dr. Johnson:

When your journey is completed
If to God you have been true
Fair and bright your home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view

.......Until we meet again Dr. Johnson...Rest in Peace

Bradley Martin

April 16, 2019

I worked with Dr. Johnson since he joined UAMS. He had a big hand in expanding the Epidemiology department and it would not be the program it is today without his efforts. He always conducted himself in a professional and delightful manner and he will be missed here on campus and the wider epidemiology community.

With great sympathy, -Brad Martin