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Allan B Johnson

About Allan

Allan Benard Johnson was born December 16, 1959 to Ted and Cynthia Johnson. He grew up on the south side of Chicago where his first job was at his uncle's skating rink. In 1979, while attending Columbia College, Allan began working at the Chicago Tribune as the paper's copy clerk and advanced rapidly.

Allan's first byline appeared in the financial section in 1987 and the following year he began the "Just for Laughs" column in the FRIDAY section, which focused on Chicago's booming local comedy scene of the day

In the years that followed, Allan reviewed and interviewed the Who's Who of American Comedy, later adding television reviewer and features writer to his duties.

Johnson was one of a handful of African Americans writing criticisms for major newspapers. He provided the Chicago Tribune with more than a decade of interviews, stories and reviews on a variety of subjects as well as thoughtful, knowing and enthusiastic television and comedy commentaries.

Allan combined academia with journalism and show business. Johnson was a frequent and lively guest on local radio and television programs. In 1998, Allan became an adjunct professor at Columbia College.

He taught a course in reporting for the newspapers and broadcasting and was often seen with his students touring the Tribune. He had developed and taught a course for the journalism department on reporting entertainment news.

Allan was the father of an adult son, Warren, from a previous marrage. Warren is a busy actor in the improvisational theater in Chicago.

Allan was married to Evelyn Holmes, a reporter for ABC 7 and previously a reporter and anchor for Chicago Tribune owned CLTV and on WGN radio. They met at a charitable event and were married in 1997. Together they had a daughter, Caitlin.

Allan died January, 2006 from complications from a brain hemorrhage.
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