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Mississippi 811 renames headquarters in honor of late founder Sam Johnson

Officials and family members gathered to rename the organization's headquarters in honor of Sam Johnson on Wednesday (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

The headquarters of Mississippi 811 has been renamed in honor of the organization’s late founder and former president.

Sam Johnson created Mississippi 811 in 1984 to provide residents with an easily accessible resource to ensure safety while digging. Known for his motto, “It’s the right thing to do,” Johnson spent his occupational life asking people to call 8-1-1 before digging to confirm they were not digging into an underground line.

Mississippi 811 founder Sam Johnson died in June 2023 (Photo from Mississippi 811)

In response to Johnson’s lifelong commitment to keeping Mississippians safe, officials and family members gathered on Wednesday to unveil a plaque honoring Johnson at the headquarters in Pearl.

“The Samuel P. Johnson Building: In honor and recognition as the founding father of MS811, and appreciation for his thirty-nine years of dedicated pursuit in making Mississippi a better place to live and work,” the plaque reads.

The plaque unveiled on Wednesday in honor of Sam Johnson (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

Johnson served as president until March 2023, retiring after 39 years. In June 2023, he passed away at the age of 75 from cancer.

His brother, Fred Johnson, now serves as Mississippi 811’s president.

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