Johansen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended the public schools in Battle Creek, Michigan. He attended Olivet College in 1922 and 1923, and Western Michigan College of Education in Kalamazoo in 1923 and 1924. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1926.
Johansen was a reporter with the Battle Creek Moon-Journal during the summers from 1922 to 1927. He served as minister of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, and Congregational Church in Bedford, Michigan from 1924 to 1934. He was also manager of industrial relations of Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, from 1934 to 1944. He was an editorial writer for the Battle Creek Enquirer-News from 1944 to 1948, editor of the Lakeview News, and news editor on radio from 1944 to 1951. He was a member of the Calhoun County Tax Allocation Board in 1949 and 1950 and served as administrative assistant to U.S. Representative Paul W. Shafer from 1951 to 1954.
In 1954, after Shafer's death just two weeks after being nominated unopposed in the Republican Party primary election for Michigan's 3rd congressional district, Johansen was elected to replace Shafer in the 84th United States Congress. Johansen was subsequently re-elected to the next four Congresses, serving from January 3, 1955 to January 3, 1965. In 1964, Johansen lost in the general election to Democrat Paul H. Todd, Jr.. Johansen voted against the Civil Rights Acts of 1957,1960, and 1964.
Johansen later served as executive vice president of the Robert A. Taft Institute for Government from 1966 to 1967. He was a lecturer and writer. Johansen died in Orlando, Florida of Alzheimer's disease. He was buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Winter Park, Florida.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Paul W. Shafer
| United States Representative for the 3rd Congressional District of Michigan
1955 – 1965
Paul H. Todd, Jr.