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Osa Johnson Map
Osa Johnson

Osa Johnson

Osa Johnson's Jungle Friends

Four Years in Paradise

Pantaloons; Adventures of a Baby Elephant

Bride in the Solomons

Last Adventure; The Martin Johnsons in Borneo

I Married Adventure; The Lives and Adventures of Martin and Osa Johnson


Osa Johnson, along with her husband Martin, gained fame for exploring parts of Africa, Borneo, and the South Pacific Islands. They were known for their documentation of the places, thier people, and their cultures.

Osa Johnson is from Chanute, Kansas. She was born as Osa Leighty March 14, 1894, and she married Martin Johnson May 15, 1910. She began to travel with her husband in 1917.

She wrote childrens books and novels. The films that she and her husband shot of their travels became very popular.

Osa Johnson passed away at the age of 53 in 1953. Her novel, I Married Adventure, is still in print today. *

*Information from (link may be blocked to Washburn University computers)

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  

Books about Osa Johnson:

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Writing Samples  

". . . I have been home just four months, and as soon as I can, I am going back. I know exactly the spot I will make for. It lies away out in the blue, a good thousand mile trek from Nairobi, in British East Africa. It is Paradise, literally as well as figuratively, and if it were charted it would appear on teh maps as Lake Paradise. And I know of no place in all the world that better deserves the name. . . ."--- Martin Johnson

      We steamed into Kilindini, the port of Mombasa. Great islands of waving cocoanut palms swept past the porthole and a familiar spicy-sweet odor filled the air.

     "Martin, we're back in Africa."

      "We're home, Osa," he said.

      We hurried into our clothes, rushed up to the deck and watched the ship move slowly into the harbor. Sweeping rollers, with windblown crests, washed inward toward the rocky shore. Baboa trees, lifting their dwarfed branches from huge century-old trunks, made a colonnade along the bank, curving off toward the Palace of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Arab dhows with red and green sails scudded down-wind, and great barges began to head for us as we came to anchor.

      The air was hot as an oven, even at this early hour. Although this was the winter season in America, it was the height of summer in British East Africa. We were on the other side of the world, and we would have to get used to sunstrokes and to flowers growing in JAnuary.

---From Four Years in Paradise

First few pages of I Married Adventure; The Lives and Adventures of Martin and Osa Johnson on Amazon

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Link to The Martin and Osa Johnson Museum in Chanute, Kansas (link may be blocked by some Washburn University computers)

Martin and Osa Johnson on Wikipedia

Osa Johnson on

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