Ask Bob Johnson’s friends to describe him, and you get two distinct pictures of the former state legislator. One is the image he seemed to project to the world, the other the personality he shared with the many people with whom he worked closely…
“He was the kind of person who seemed a little crusty and intimidating upon meeting him early on, but you realized pretty quickly that he was genuine and generous,” former New College President Mike Michalson said.

Beyond the gruff exterior and warm interior, there are other points of consensus: He was opinionated, a direct communicator and a dedicated family man. He was also a passionate advocate for Sarasota — during his time in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate, but also as an active member or supporter of a laundry list of local organizations.
Former state Sen. Bob Johnson died Monday. He was 80.