Johnson graduated from the Georgia Technical Institute in Atlanta with a degree in engineering, and worked for NASA. He moved into the cable television business in the 1970s and built Cablevision into a major company operating in 26 states. He also co-founded Crowley Cellular Communications and joined with Daryl Harms to found Masada Security in 1988. That business later expanded into other fields, including a solid-waste to ethanol conversion venture, using "Masada" as the name for the overall holding company.
Johnson and his wife bought a large residence at 2124 Christina Cove in the Southlake Estates subdivision for $3.5 million in 1998. They had the view to Indian Valley Lake opened up by removing trees and completed an unfinished basement and pool house. They listed the house for sale in 2012 and put it for auction in 2014 in order to downsize.
- Anderson, Jon (September 30, 2014) "See inside 18,000-square-foot, waterfront Hoover mansion set to go on auction block." The Birmingham News