Edwin Johnson, Jr. was born in Spartanburg, the son of Edwin Wallace and Jesse Roswell Dean Johnson. He was educated at The Citadel, Wofford College and at the University of South Carolina, where he received an LL.B. degree. He was admitted to the Bar in 1930.
He practiced in Spartanburg with the firm of Johnson, Smith and Hibbard. He served as a State Representative from Spartanburg County in 1944, as City Attorney from 1944 until 1946, as a Special Circuit Judge, a member of the Judicial Council of South Carolina and as Chairman of the Special Committees on Probate Court Law and on Criminal Procedure.
He served as President of the Spartanburg County (1957) and South Carolina Bar Associations (1965), President of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association (1958), as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and as a member of the American Bar Association and the American Judicature Society.
He was Chairman of the South Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; South Carolina Conservationist of the Year; President of the Lions Club, Director of the Piedmont Interstate Fair Association; Exalted Ruler of BPOE, cited in Who’s Who in America and a member of the Episcopal Church.
He was an able trial lawyer, trusted counsellor, useful citizen and a loyal friend. He was married to Mary Eppes Jones and they had two children, Wallace John and Frances J. Jordan.