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Release: Immediate

Editors note: The University of Iowa department of speech pathology and audiology will host a reception in honor of the 91st anniversary of Wendell Johnson's birth at

4 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 in the main lobby of the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center. The reception is open to the public.

UI pioneer Johnson memorialized in high-tech medium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Wendell Johnson, one of the University of Iowa's most prominent pioneering researchers, is being remembered in the most cutting-edge of today's media: an Internet site created by his son, Nicholas.

The launch on the World Wide Web of the "Memorial Home Page" for Wendell Johnson, one of the founders of the field of speech pathology, coincides with Johnson's birthday Wednesday, April 16. Johnson, who died in 1965, would have been 91 years old.

The page's Internet address is:

The page contains biographical and bibliographical information about Johnson as well as selections from, and in certain cases, complete texts of, several of his books, including some that have long been out of print. The collection includes Johnson's master's thesis, which was published in 1930 under the title, "Because I Stutter."

Links to relevant organizations, such as American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are also included. Johnson was a founder of the organization's forerunner, the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Nicholas Johnson, a former member of the Federal Communications Commission and a UI law professor since 1981, says the site is designed for people who want to research his father's work or who simply want to know more about his father's life.

Nicholas Johnson says his father, who invented a dual-deck tape recorder to enable individuals to hear, and react to, their own speech, would have been one of the first to take advantage of the Internet.

"I'm confident that, had he been alive in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he would have been among the first to explore personal computers, the Internet and Web," Johnson says.

The memorial home page is also a labor of love for the younger Johnson. When Wendell Johnson died, the family was deluged with letters of condolence and anecdotes from people Johnson had helped.

Wendell Johnson earned three degrees, including his doctorate, from the UI.

The home of the department of speech pathology and audiology, is named the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center (built after his death) in honor of Johnson.