A native of Milan in rural Spokane County, Albert Johnson became one of the country’s premier jockeys of the 1920s. He began his career in 1917 and, after heading east, won riding titles at Oaklawn Park, Pimlico, Bowie and Woodbine. By 1922, he led the nation’s riders in money earned.
After guiding Morvich through an unbeaten 2-year-old season, Johnson rode him to victory in the 1922 Kentucky Derby. He also won the Derby astride Bubbling Over in 1926 and the Belmont Stakes on both American Flag (1925) and Crusade (1926). Johnson added to his fame with 15 victories aboard the great handicap champion Exterminator.
After giving up the saddle in 1929, he became a trainer, primarily for Bing Crosby, and a track official. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1971. He is a charter member of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame and a member of the Washington Racing Hall of Fame.