Richard L. Johnson, Sr.


Partners in Philanthropy (2008)
Keystone Award
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2007)
B.S., 1955
Kelley School of Business Distinguished Entrepreneur (1994)
Indiana University Bloomington
Kelley School of Business
B.S., 1955


Richard L. (Dick) Johnson, Sr. was a 1955 undergraduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In 1957, he began Johnson Oil Co. as a small distributorship of Shell Oil petroleum products, delivering fuel oils, gasoline, and lubricants in the Columbus, Indiana, area.

In the 1980s, as many service stations were converting to convenience stores selling gasoline, Johnson was at the forefront of this movement. He developed the Bigfoot food chain and became one of the largest privately owned convenience store/gasoline chains in the United States with 150 Bigfoot convenience stores selling Shell, Amoco and private-brand gasoline products. In 2001, the Johnson family sold the Bigfoot chain of convenience stores to Couch-Tard Inc.

In 1998, Dick and his wife Ruth provided a gift in support of the IU center which now bears their family's name. He also funded the Kelley Entrepreneur-in-Residence program and served on both the Kelley School's Dean's Advisory Council and the IU Foundation Board of Directors. In 1994, Dick Johnson received the Kelley School's Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, and in 2007, IU's Distinguished Alumni Service Award.