Mansur Johnson was born in Illinois and lived on both coasts. He has a BA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, an MA from the University of Illinois, and 60 hours toward his PhD at the University of Iowa, with studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the Universidad de Mexico in Mexico City.
After teaching English for one year at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, Mansur retired from teaching and went to California to join the hippies. He became one of the first students of Samuel L. Lewis, a Sufi teacher and Zen Master, as well as his personal secretary. Mr. Lewis became the subject of Mansur’s book "Murshid: A personal memoir of life with American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis," Peaceworks Publications, Seattle, WA 2006.
One of Mr. Lewis’s colleagues was Shamcher Bryn Beorse, who was the subject of Mansur’s book "Shamcher: A memoir of Bryn Beorse’s struggle to introduce Ocean Energy to theUnited States." This book is offered free on line for activists to expedite the introduction of solar ocean energy, or OTEC, ocean thermal energy conversion. www.shamcher.org/6.html
Mr. Lewis’s teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, published 12 volumes of Sufi teachings in the 1960s, which Mansur combed for Sufi stories. He compiled and edited over 400 Sufi tales, published as "Big Tales: All the stories in the 12 volumes of The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan," The Einstein Academy, Tucson, AZ 2015.
After Mr. Lewis death in 1971, Mansur started a Sufi Center in Boston, MA, and supported himself by installing auto glass, as well as traveling and teaching Sufism at weekend workshops and seminars. In 1980, Mansur moved to Tucson and found work in the film industry when Hollywood came to Arizona by working in 44 feature films and TV movies as a Grip. He found employment on such big Hollywood local films as Tombstone, Maverick and The Quick and the Dead.
A member of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Mansur transitioned from film to work as a stage carpenter at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall for Broadway in Tucson, as well as a Trade Show professional, setting up such events as the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson.
In 2017, The Einstein Academy published "Don’t Search, Celebrate! The Collected poems of Mansur Johnson." Since then, Mansur began work on "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, The 1998 Footsteps of Alexander the Great Tour, Part 1."