Sonia Johnson

Born:February 27, 1936 (age 83)

Sonia Johnson is an American feminist activist and writer, and was a candidate for president of the United States for the Citizens Party in 1984.

Harris was born February 27, 1936, in Malad, Idaho, a fifth-generation Mormon. She graduated from Utah State University, married, then earned a Master's degree and a Doctor of Education from Rutgers College. Between 1960 and 1976, she taught in various universities as she and her husband and the four children born during this time moved between Samoa, Nigeria, Malawi, Korea and Malaysia.

In 1977, Johnson co-founded Mormons for ERA. In 1978, she testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights. After she delivered a speech denouncing lobbying efforts by the LDS Church to prevent passage of the ERA at a meeting of the American Psychological Association in September 1979, the LDS church excommunicated her.

Johnson was the 1984 presidential candidate of the Citizens Party, Pennsylvania's Consumer Party and California's Peace and Freedom Party. She received 72,161 votes (0.08%).

In the late 1980s, Johnson became disillusioned with the Equal Rights Amendment, rejecting it and the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, equal opportunity laws and other government benefits because she considered them cooptation by patriarchy.

Photo: National Women's History Museum