Lonnie Johnson was born on October 6, 1949, in Mobile Alabama. His Dad taught him practical repair and mechanical skills from a young age. Lonnie Johnson developed an interest in mechanical devices and dreamed of being an inventor.
Lonnie J. went to Williamson High School in Mobile, Johnson's friends like to call him "Professor". Johnson persevered in his studies and became the first student from Williamson to participate in the Junior Engineering Technical Society's regionalLonnie had won first place for a four-foot-tall, remote-controlled robot that was built with household electronics and powered by compressed air.
Lonnie Johnson worked to refine the squirt-gun design for seven years, acquiring numerous patents along the way. He eventually licensed production rights to the Larami Corporation (later acquired by Hasbro for its Nerf line of toys) in 1989. That same year, he formed his own engineering firm, Johnson Research, and Development Company, Inc, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The Super Soaker was a major hit and has generated close to a billion dollars in retail sales since its introduction.