From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Johnson, William H.

(born: 1895) 

William H. Johnson was an African American Baptist preacher and miner who lived in Middlesboro, KY. In 1946 he began mailing letters to persons of German descent in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, claiming that he was Hitler, had escaped from the Russian army and was now living in Kentucky. The impostor said that he needed money.

Johnson was arrested in 1956 by postal inspector W. W. Lewis. He had received between $10,000 and $15,000 over the 10-year period. Johnson was sentenced to three years in prison.

For more see More Offbeat Kentuckians, by K. McQueen; "Negro admits swindling Adolf Hitler followers," Florence Morning News, 8/15/1956, p. 1; "Hitler trial continued, 15 from area given terms," Middlesboro Daily News, 11/15/1956, p. 1; and "Hitler poser to face prison term," Atchison Daily Globe, 04/12/1957, p. 2.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Atchison daily globe (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Middlesboro daily news (newspapers)
NKAA Source: Florence morning news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: More offbeat Kentuckians

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Johnson, William H.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-05 17:04:25