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Ambassador Martinus L. Johnson, Sr. was born March 24, 1929, in Edina, Grand Bassa County, Liberia, West Africa. He completed his early education in Edina and graduated from high school, The College of West Africa, in Monrovia. He traveled to the United States in 1950 for higher education, where he completed an Associate of Arts Degree at Evanston Collegiate Institute, now Kendall College, in Evanston, Illinois. In 1952, he transferred to The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Political Science, graduating in 1954. After completing his undergraduate education, Ambassador Johnson married his first wife, Barbara Crane, and returned to Liberia with the intent of serving his country. In 1956, two years after his return, he began his career in the Liberian Foreign Service with an assignment to the Embassy of Liberia in Bonn, Germany, as Second Secretary and Vice-Consul. This initiated his 25-year career of service to his country as a diplomat. During this period, he served as First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations; First Secretary and Consul, Liberian Embassy, Cairo, Egypt; Consul General, Hong Kong; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Liberia to the Arab Republic of Egypt; and was commissioned Liberia's First Ambassador (non-resident) to the Imperial Court of Iran, State of Kuwait, and the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia. During his career in the Liberian Foreign Service, Ambassador Johnson was honored with numerous decorations, including Order of the Collar of the Nile First Class (Arab Republic of Egypt), Knight Commander, Humane Order of African Redemption (Liberia), Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa (Liberia), and Cross of Merit First Class (Federal Republic of West Germany). In 1981, Ambassador Johnson was recalled by Liberian President Samuel Doe.