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OOIDA President, CEO, Jim Johnston passes away at age 78


Today the trucking community is mourning the loss of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) President and CEO Jim Johnston, who lost his life to lung cancer.

Johnston passed away at his home in Grain Valley, Missouri, following a year-long battle with cancer, according to an OOIDA press release.

OOIDA Founding Member And President Since 1974 Passes Away

Johnston was part of a group of truck drivers who launched OOIDA in 1973. He has served as OOIDA’s President and CEO since 1974.

From current acting OOIDA President Todd Spencer: “The trucking industry has lost a visionary and crusader for the rights of all truckers. He leaves behind a legacy of passion and persistence that we will undoubtedly look to as our inspiration going forward as we continue the mission of the Association.

Spencer vows that OOIDA will continue to fight as hard as Johnston did for the rights of small business truckers. He notes, “We are prepared to continue the fight as only Jim would want us all to do. He loved every minute he spent as a trucker, but when circumstances required it in the ’70s he stepped down from behind the wheel to give a badly needed voice to truckers, the real truckers that move America. Every driver today is better off because of that decision he made years ago.”

OOIDA has established a memorial page where drivers, family members, and friends can share comments and memories about Johnston’s life. You can click here to reach the memorial page.

From its beginnings in 1973 headquartered in a trailer chained to a light pole at a truck stop in Grain Valley, Missouri, OOIDA has grown into a major trade association with 160,000 members nationwide.


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