Norman Johnston | Instructor, author, 91

Norman Johnston
Norman Johnston
Posted: October 13, 2012

Norman Johnston, 91, chairman of the sociology department at Arcadia University and an authority on the history of prison architecture, died of complications of strokes Saturday, Oct. 6, at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler.

He was the author or editor of eight books and numerous articles on criminal justice and prison architecture. He was associated with the Pennsylvania Prison Society and the Eastern State Penitentiary historic site for many years.

Mr. Johnston was born an only child in Marion, Mich., in 1921. He attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served in World War II. He later attended the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's degree.

For three years, Mr. Johnston worked at a state prison in Illinois before entering the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a doctorate in 1958.

In 1962, he was hired at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) as an associate professor and chairman of the sociology department. He taught there full time until 1992. Mr. Johnston then taught there part time as a professor emeritus for two decades.

A memorial celebration was scheduled for noon Sunday, Nov. 18, in the Castle at Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Rd., Glenside.

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