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People Top 5
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- November 19, 1990
- Vol. 34
- No. 20
Johnson, 33, arrived on the West Coast three years ago from New York City, where she had worked as a reporter for PEOPLE since 1983. Born in Danbury, Conn., she has a journalistic role model in her newspaperman father, William Oscar Johnson, who moved the family from Baltimore to Minneapolis to Boston and finally to New York City, where he is a senior writer at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. After co-editing her Germantown, N.Y., high school yearbook, Johnson tackled Vassar College as an English major. She spent a few low-impact years running a beach bar-restaurant on a five-acre island near Tortola, British Virgin Islands, before working in advertising production at Dance magazine in Manhattan.
Keeping Pacific Standard Time has meant some adjustments. In a nutshell: "In L.A. you drive," she says. "In New York you are driven." Johnson has shifted gears smoothly. "Tina's a gifted conversationalist and interviewer," says L.A. bureau chief Jack Kelley. "She can draw people out without making them feel they've been grilled." Johnson finds it a most satisfying pursuit. "You get to take people off their pedestals," she says. "Like with Kevin—it's nice to discover he's just the cowboy next door."
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