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Winston Johnson papers, 1972-2018

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/tmvm4

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Johnson, Winston.
Title: Winston Johnson papers, 1972-2018
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1455
Extent: 4 linear feet (4 boxes) and 2 oversized papers boxes (OP)
Abstract:Papers of LGBT rights activist Winston Johnson, including printed materials, clippings, photographs, correspondence, and awards.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Winston Johnson oral history interview, Georgia State University


Gift of Winston Johnson, 2018.


[after identification of item(s)], Winston Johnson papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Curator of Modern Political and Historical Collections, Randy Gue, acquired the collection as part of the Rose Library’s holdings in LGBT politics and activism. Approximately a quarter of a linear foot of duplicate materials were securely shredded. Appraisal decisions were made by Acquisitions Assistant, Elizabeth Miller, in consultation with Randy Gue.


Arranged and described at the collection level by Elizabeth Miller, February 2019. Miller retained the order of the material provided by the creator.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Winston Johnson is an LGBT activist, who is politically active in Atlanta, Georgia. Johnson and his partner of forty-two years, Leon Allen, were two of the original committee members for the first two Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinners in Atlanta in 1988 and 1989. They became close friends with Coretta Scott King after Johnson met her in route to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, funeral when he worked for Eastern Airlines. Johnson and Allen helped her use her high public profile to advocate for the rights of LGBT persons. Because of their efforts, King became the keynote speaker at the HRC dinner in New York City in 1986. Allen died from Parkinson’s disease in February 2006. The Leon Allen & Winston Johnson Community Leadership Award is presented by the HRC Atlanta Steering Committee to the individual or group who offers distinguished service and leadership to the LGBT community. Past recipients include Dr. Jesse Peel and Paul Plate, executive director of Positive Impact.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Winston Johnson from 1972-2018 and includes material relating to the Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Fund’s annual fundraising dinner, gay rights activism in Atlanta and New York City, and personal papers of Winston Johnson. Johnson’s personal papers include greeting cards and photographs related to his relationship with Leon Allen, correspondence, and celebrity ephemera.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 - Correspondence, circa 1972-2006
1 - Celebrity ephemera, circa 1977-2014
1 - Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Fund dinner, printed materials, 1985-2018 [1 of 2]
2 - Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Fund dinner, printed materials, 1985-2018 [2 of 2]
2 - Greeting cards, photographs, and clippings related to relationship with Leon Allen, circa 1994-2006 [1 of 2]
3 - Greeting cards, photographs, and clippings related to relationship with Leon Allen, circa 1994-2006 [2 of 2]
3 - Civil and gay rights activism, circa 1981-2013 [1 of 2]
4 - Civil and gay rights activism, circa 1981-2013 [2 of 2]
OP1 1 Photograph, 1954
OP1 1 Printed material, circa 1998-2016
OP1 1 Awards, circa 1979
OP2 1 Plaques, 1985-2009