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In Memoriam

November 10, 2010
 Albert Johnson, who in 1967 became the first black new-car dealer for General Motors when he bought an Oldsmobile store in Chicago, died Jan. 13 at age 89.

Mr. Johnson began selling cars door to door near St. Louis because he wasn’t welcome on the dealership showfloor. He came to be known as "the man who sold cars from a briefcase."

In addition to Al Johnson Oldsmobile, Mr. Johnson opened Al Johnson Cadillac in the city.

He also was a leader in the effort to elect Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, and he helped Barack Obama’s early run for the state Senate.

Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Marion; and sons Albert Jr., Donald and Antoine; and six grandchildren.