Oldest Living Pro Football Players

Pro Football's Online Encyclopedia


Howard White 'Smiley' Johnson


Smiley Johnson

Date of Birth: September 22, 1916, in Clarksville, Tennessee

Date of Death: February 26, 1945, Iwo Jima, Japan (28 years old)



'Smiley' joined the Marine Corps soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor on

December 7, 1941In January of 1945, just one month before he was killed in

the fighting on Iwo Jima, he was awared the Silver Star for his bravery during

a Japanese attack on Saipan.

He was posthumously awarded a Gold Star for his actions on Iwo Jima.

Howard W. 'Smiley' Johnson's memory is honored each year during college bowl

season. The outstanding lineman in the Peach Bowl is presented with the Smiley

Johnson Award.   Johnson wasn't your typical football player of the time.  He had

a deep southern drawl, didn't drink, smoke, chew or swear.  Something that stood

out at the time, as it would even today.



1940 Green Bay Packers (NFL)

1941 Green Bay Packers (NFL)


University of Georgia