REYNOLD B. JOHNSON
BY ARTHUR O. ANDERSON
REYNOLD B. JOHNSON, International Business Machines Corporation Fellow, long-time IBM employee, prolific inventor, and president of Education Engineering Associates, died in Palo Alto, California, on September 15, 1998. His leadership earned him national recognition in test scoring machinery and random access disk files and a determining role in the building of IBM West Coast Research and Development.
Rey was born near Dassel, Minnesota, on July 7, 1906, ninth of ten children, with seven sisters and two brothers. His father and mother, John and Elizabeth, were Swedish immigrants, and Rey was raised on a farm, where from the beginning he showed a keen mechanical talent. At an early age he built a submersible submarine, which he exhibited in the horse trough. After completion of his early schooling in Dassel, Rey attended and graduated from the Minnehaha Academy High School in Minneapolis. His older sisters are said to have taken a keen interest in his education.
He then went on to the University of Minnesota, where he received a bachelor of science degree in (science) education administration in 1929. He completed his degree with a strong conviction that measurement of educational performance was critical to teaching. He obtained his first job at Ironwood High School on the Michigan Peninsula, where he taught mathematics and science.