R. Kurt Johnson holds a B.A. in history from the University of Tennessee, M.A.s in history from Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. also from Vanderbilt. He won a post-doctoral research grant for 2010-2011 from the Freie Universität in Berlin. He taught at Vanderbilt, Austin Peay State, University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Cameron University in Oklahoma before moving to Germany in 2016. His son Theodoric Francis Johnson was born in Stuttgart; they moved to Wyoming during Covid times in October 2021. Until the end of April 2023 he worked as the educator at the Washakie Museum in Worland, Wyo.