- Ph.D., University of Illinois—Urbana, 1973
- M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1962
- B.A., Western Illinois University, 1960
An authority on and friend to novelist Harper Lee, as well as an authority on 19th-century American theater, Claudia Durst Johnson was born in South Carolina, completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, and was a professor at the University of Alabama from 1973 until 1996. During that time, she chaired the Department of English for 12 years. She now lives in Berkeley, California.