Joseph French Johnson was an American economist, born at Hardwick, Massachusetts.
He graduated from Harvard in 1878, studied in Germany for a year, then began work at the Springfield, Massachusetts Republican newspaper. Afterward, he worked on the staff of the Chicago Tribune, and established the Spokane Spokesman.
After 1893, his employment took him to various institutions. He was professor in the Wharton School of Commerce, Penn, lectured at Columbia, and in 1901 became a professor at NYU, was a member of the commission to revise the banking laws of the State of New York, and worked for the National Monetary Commission.
Professor Johnson edited the Modern Business Series and the Journal of Accountancy. He published: Syllabus of Money and Banking, Money and Currency, and The Canadian Banking System.
He was associated with the "Alexander Hamilton Institute" and was credited with writing "The Price of Success," an inspirational text as follows: I often wonder what it is that brings one man success in life, and what it is that brings mediocrity or failure to his brother. The difference can't be in mental capacity; there is not the difference in our mentalities indicated by the difference in performance. In short, I have reached the conclusion that some men succeed because they cheerfully pay the price of success, and others, though they may claim ambition and a desire to succeed, are unwilling to pay that price.