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Longtime Montana Political Reporter Chuck Johnson has died

Chuck Johnson
Posted at 9:35 AM, Mar 06, 2023

HELENA - Longtime Montana journalist and political reporter Charles S. “Chuck” Johnson has passed away.

Lee Newspapers, which Johnson had worked for, was the first to report on his passing. MTN has been able to confirm the information with friends of Johnson.

Chuck was regarded highly and well-liked by his fellow reporters that covered the happenings at the Montana State Capitol and politics in Montana. He was always happy to teach and inform new reporters who were covering Montana politics.

Johnson was a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism, and in 2022 he received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Montana State University

As noted when receiving his honorary doctorate, Johnson had a reporting career that spanned over forty years. He covered 22 Montana legislative sessions, seven governors, nine U.S. senators and 10 U.S. representatives, and reported on the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention for the Associated Press. His reporting was widely regarded as clear, fair and balanced.

Born in Great Falls and raised in Helena, he began his career in 1967 through an internship with the Helena Independent Record. Johnson’s first full-time reporting position was for the Missoulian, where he worked from 1972 to 1974. He then returned to Helena and began reporting for the Lee Newspapers State Bureau, then at the Great Falls Tribune Capitol Bureau in Helena. His work included serving as bureau chief from 1984 to 1992. From 1992 to 2015, he served as bureau chief for the Lee Newspapers State Bureau.

Johnson retired in 2015, although from time to time he came out of retirement to report on political issues or offer his commentary on an issue or candidate.