Johnson & Johnson Employees Who Made a Difference


For more than a century, generations of our companies' employees have come to work each day filled with a desire to make a difference in people's health and well-being.

Here's a look at just a few of the many employees who have made important contributions to human health through their work within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Founding Brothers
Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson, Edward Mead Johnson

In 1886, brothers Robert Wood, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson founded Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During the early years, the Johnson brothers led pioneering efforts in: sterile surgical dressings, sterile sutures, first aid, wound care, products for women's health, dental floss and baby products.

Frederick Barnett Kilmer, Inventor of JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder

Frederick Barnett Kilmer was our Director of Scientific Affairs from 1889 to 1934 and a pioneer in spreading the knowledge of antiseptic methods for treating wounds. His booklet, "Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment," was a groundbreaking summary of doctors and surgeons' latest views on caring for wounds and included a catalogue of our products for the antiseptic treatment of wounds. Dr. Kilmer was also responsible for JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder. In those days, Johnson & Johnson made medicated plasters that delivered medicine through the skin. The plasters could be irritating when removed. Dr. Kilmer suggested sending customers a small container of Italian talc to soothe their skin. Satisfied customers soon wrote back to tell us that the powder also soothed their babies' bottoms, and in1893 we sold the first tins of JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder.

Robert Wood Johnson, Author of Our Credo

Robert Wood Johnson, chairman of Johnson & Johnson from 1932 to 1963, was the son of Company founder Robert Wood Johnson. A visionary with strong ideas about business and employee relations, he wrote Our Credo in 1943, outlining our business principles and responsibilities to patients, doctors, nurses and the communities in which we live and work. He also oversaw our global growth and expansion for three decades. Johnson was a lifelong philanthropist and made significant contributions to the well-being of employees, patients and the community.

Earle Dickson, Inventor of BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages

Earle Dickson was an early employee of Johnson & Johnson. His wife had a habit of repeatedly burning or cutting her fingers as she prepared meals. There were no ready-made bandages at the time, but Earle had an idea. He took some of the adhesive tape and gauze that Johnson & Johnson made, added squares of gauze to the tape at intervals, and then covered it with a thin fabric called crinoline. Earle told his boss about his invention and BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages were born. We started making them in 1921 and they have grown to become one of our best-known products.

Dr. Philip Levine, Blood Typing Scientist

Dr. Philip Levine (1900-1987) was a world-renowned scientist who studied human blood and discovered many of the subgroups in blood typing, as well as the human Rh antigen blood factors. For centuries, many women with Rh-negative blood who had given birth to a healthy first child lost later babies to a mysterious condition called Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn, or HDN. Dr. Levine's research with Dr. R. E. Stetson demonstrated that HDN is caused by antibodies in the mother's blood that were incompatible with the baby's. Dr. Levine joined the Ortho Research Foundation in Raritan, New Jersey, in 1944, where he worked until his retirement in 1965. In 1968 Levine's research — combined with the work of others — led to the development of RhoGAM®, the first Rh Immunoglobulin product to treat HDN and a product that has helped save the lives of countless babies.

Dr. Paul Janssen, Leader of Pharmaceutical Research

Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003), one of the giants of modern pharmaceutical research, started a small medical research laboratory in Belgium in 1953. Within just four years Dr. Janssen's small lab grew to 50 people and his company, Janssen Pharmaceutica, N.V., had its first medicine on the market. In 1961, Johnson & Johnson acquired Janssen Pharmaceutica and made it a part of our Family of Companies. A truly creative researcher, Dr. Janssen and his team of scientists discovered breakthrough medicines to ease pain, help psychiatric patients, fight fungal infections, and treat digestive diseases. He had over 100 patents to his name, wrote or co-wrote more than 850 scientific publications and gave more than 500 scientific presentations worldwide. The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, founded by Johnson & Johnson in 2004, is named in his honor.

Johnson Medal Scientists

Every year since 1960 a group of our outstanding scientists from around the world are awarded the Johnson Medal, our highest scientific honor. These scientists have made discoveries that led to new products in every area of our businesses. They have taken us in new directions and helped us improve the health and well being of people the world over.

In 2012, four teams were awarded this prestigious honor: the NICORETTE® QuickMist team, the NEUTROGENA® Wet Skin team, the EVICEL® Fibrin Sealant team, and the SIMPONI® (golimumab) team. Read their stories below.

NICORETTE® QuickMist Spray
EVICEL® Fibrin Sealant
SIMPONI® (golimubab)

A complete list of Johnson Medal Winners:
Johnson Medal Winners