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Introduction to Spencer Johnson Biography

Spencer Johnson was a notable psychologist, emblematic writer, and speaker of American origin. Known worldwide as “The King of Parables,” his books are invaluable in teaching personal and professional growth. Discover here the Spencer Johnson biography, books, and more…

Early Life

Patrick Spencer Johnson was born on November 24, 1938, in Watertown, Davison County, in the US state of South Dakota.

Watertown South Dakota
Watertown, South Dakota

His family is classified as middle class. He spends his childhood in the city of his birth.

He studied at “Notre Dame High School” in Sherman Oaks, California, and graduated at 19 in 1957.

He began studies in Psychology at the University of Southern California, obtaining his degree in 1963.

He continues higher specialized studies at the “Royal College of Surgeons” in Ireland, receiving a medical degree.


After receiving his B.A. in psychology from USC, Dr. Johnson received his M.D. from Ireland’s Royal College of Surgeons. Aside from the Harvard Medical School and the Royal Clinic, two of the most prestigious medical schools in the world, he interned at both.

He holds the post of director of Medtronic, the firm most recognized for developing the pacemaker.

He also was a researcher at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies. To name a few of the many job responsibilities he represented.

Ken Blanchard Quote Leadership with People
Ken Blanchard

In 1982 he associated with the important business consultant Ken Blanchard.

CNN has interviewed him, ABC, NBC, BBC, Time, New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Reader’s Digest, Associated Press, and United Press International, and some of his articles have been published in these publications.


He died on July 3, 2017, at age 78, from pancreatic cancer in San Diego, California.

He is perhaps best known for his book “Who Moved My Cheese?” as well as other best-sellers such as “Out of the Maze,” a sequel to “Who Moved My Cheese?” that was published posthumously in 2018 and referred to Johnson’s cancer battle.


Spencer Johnson treats in his works everything related to the situations of any person’s daily life.

He also teaches discipline and how to correctly use our time for our actions and obligations.

How to be competitive to achieve success. How to make the right decision and complete the transformation. In itself, the excellence that we all need.

Dr. Spencer Johnson’s stories about simple, timeless truths have influenced the work and lives of millions of readers worldwide.


  • 1981 – The One Minute Manager
  • 1983 – The One Minute Mother
  • 1985 – The One Minute Father
  • 1985 – The One-Minute Salesperson
  • 1988 – The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey
  • 1990 – Peaks and Valleys
  • 1990 – Yes or No: The Guide To Better Decisions
  • 1995 – An Invisible Thread
  • 1998 – Who Moved My Cheese? – An Amazing Way to Deal with Change
  • 1999 – Take Time For Your Life
  • 2000 – The Precious Present
  • 2002 – The 12 Absolutes of Leadership
  • 2005 – The Value of Believing in Yourself
  • 2018 – Out Of The Maze (posthumous release)

F.A.Q. about Spencer Johnson

Who is Spencer Johnson?

Spencer Johnson was an American physician and author best known for his motivational book “Who Moved My Cheese?”, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. He also co-authored “The One Minute Manager” with Ken Blanchard, another popular business-themed book.

What are some of Spencer Johnson’s most notable works?

Johnson’s most famous works are “Who Moved My Cheese?” and “The One Minute Manager”. The former is a simple parable about dealing with change in one’s work and life, while the latter offers insights into managerial efficiency.

What is the main theme of “Who Moved My Cheese?”?

“Who Moved My Cheese?” uses a parable involving four characters living in a maze to illustrate how people deal with change. Two of the characters are mice named Sniff and Scurry, and the other two are little people named Hem and Haw. Their attitudes toward change – embracing, denying, or adapting – serve as a metaphor for similar reactions in the business world or personal life.

What impact did Spencer Johnson’s works have on business literature?

Spencer Johnson’s works, particularly “Who Moved My Cheese?” and “The One Minute Manager,” significantly impacted business literature. They’ve been widely read and utilized in corporate environments to improve management styles and help employees better understand and adapt to change.

When did Spencer Johnson pass away?

Spencer Johnson passed away on July 3, 2017.

Spencer Johnson Quotes

“Riches are coveted presents but… The wealth of the perfect gift lies in the present itself.”

“He knew enough about happiness to realize that if he ever found it, it would have to be within himself.”

«Your way of seeing life is the best way to take care of yourself. Your perspective is what sinks you or lifts you up. And the attitude is something we can choose.”

«Sometimes it is convenient to look first for others, and other times it is preferable to take care of myself first. The good thing about it is that the way I take care of myself usually also works for others. And paying attention to others is a way of paying attention to myself. That makes me feel balanced and full of peace.”

“Pain arises from the difference between what is present and what I would like it to be.”

“Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.”

«The perfect gift is not an object that someone can give you. It is a present that only you can give yourself.”

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