Phillip Neil “Phil” Johnson was born August 14, 1919 in Standish, Maine and grew up in Westbrook, Maine. His parents were Clarence and Mary (Jesson?) Johnson. Due to illness, he was confined to his bed until 3rd grade. He won a scholarship to Tufts University for theater, graduating in 1943. Phil began working at a radio news station in 1942 and later became the news director for Maine Radio News Service. He first met Muskie in Waterville in the late 1940s. Through the 1950s, he followed Muskie’s career as governor. He played a large role in the transition from radio to television news. His news program (Channel 5) was the first on Maine television in 1953.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Johnson, Philip Neil "Phil" oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 185.