Philip Johnson was born in Colorado where he spent his early years. He graduated from high school in Missouri and attended Northwestern University before serving in the Marine Corps, which included a tour of duty with the American Forces Radio and Television Service, Far East Network. Johnson completed his post secondary education with a BA from Metropolitan State University of Denver and completed two graduate management programs at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
In addition to his native Colorado, Johnson has lived at various times on both coasts and the Midwest. He and his wife currently reside in the Pacific Northwest.