Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson
Team: Penn State '35

Dr. Howard K. Johnston, Penn State, Class of 1935


He was the first Penn State wrestler to win an NCAA wrestling championship.


Howard was born in 1913 in Newville, PA and graduated from State College High School in 1931. He wrestled for Penn State during the 1933, 1934 and 1935 seasons compiling a record of 29-5. Howard won the EIWA championships at 165 pounds in both 1934 and 1935. In the 1935 NCAAs held at Lehigh University, he advanced to the finals where he defeated the University of Oklahoma’s Port Robertson by Time Advantage to win the 165 pound championship. His victory enabled Penn State to finish 5th in the team race.


After college, Howard initiated the wrestling program at State College High School. He was one of four referees who worked the first PIAA state tournament at Rec Hall in 1938. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1984.


Howard was vice president of the Penn State class of 1935 when he received his BS degree in dairy husbandry. He continued on to earn a Master of Science and his Ph.D. in dairy science from Penn State. He worked in various technical and management positions in the field while living in North Carolina, South Dakota and then back in Pennsylvania from 1944 until he died.  Howard retired in 1973.


Howard passed away in State College in 1990. He is survived by two daughters, Robin and Linda.