Carl Johnson

Carl "CJ" Johnson is the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Childhood, Teenage Years, and Gang LifestyleEdit
Carl "CJ" Johnson was born in Los Santos, to mother Beverly Johnson. He is Beverly's second child, the first being Sean (aka Sweet), then Carl, followed very soon after by Kendl and finally Brian. Sweet recalls that CJ was born in the Johnson House, the family's childhood and current home. Old Reece, a family friend, recalls memories of CJ's father (though Reece's sanity is in question), though CJ tells Joey Leone that he never knew his father, and Sweet was man of the house. Another one of CJ's memories is swimming off the coast of the Santa Maria, having a condom get stuck to his face, and has since then been reasonably afraid to swim. The Johnson siblings, along with Melvin (aka Big Smoke) and Lance (aka Ryder), grew up on the same cul-de-sac and were childhood friends. CJ recalls Ryder dealing drugs since he was ten. Sweet became the leader of the Grove Street Families, which introduced him, CJ and even Brian into gang life. During this time frame, Grove Street Families were at the height of their power when they first became pressured by Frank Tenpenny, the corrupt police officer of C.R.A.S.H. It's likely that officer Eddie Pulaski was also serving with Tenpenny at this time. In 1987, the gang was shaken by the death of young Brian. Sweet laments that Carl "let Brian die" and did not call for help, causing Carl to leave for Liberty City in that same year. He was no longer considered a member of Grove Street, and would later have to earn his way back into the gang. Big Smoke also said that CJ was more bigger back in those days, and that "the east coast got you all thinned out". It is uncomfirmed, however, whether CJ was more muscular or fat before he left off to go to Liberty City.
Adult life in Liberty CityEdit
In Liberty City, he had the opportunity of working with Don Salvatore Leone's son, Joey Leone in the car theft business, and is once seen mugging a passer-by on the streets in Liberty City. In 1992, after five years, Sweet calls Carl on his cell phone to tell him his mother was killed in a drive-by shooting (calling only minutes after it happened). Carl returns to Los Santos for the funeral, with the partial consideration of staying there long-term.
Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasEdit
As soon as Carl is in Los Santos, he is immediately confronted by C.R.A.S.H., who explain that either CJ will work for them, or they will frame him for killing their rival, officer Ralph Pendelbury. CJ finally meets with his siblings and friends of Grove Street Families, who explain that they lost much of their power since the last five years - a result of the growing crack cocaine trend and, though Sweet doesn't admit it, didn't have as much personal strength as a leader without CJ home (interestingly, CJ's appearance at the beginning of the game is similar to Chris Tucker's character in the film "Money Talks"). Carl and Sweet work furiously to successfully bring the gang back to power, CJ regaining his brother's respect in the process. This included reuniting with Seville and Temple families, as well as Aztecas leader Cesar Vialpando (who, although a rival of Sweet's at the time, began a loving relationship with Kendl). CJ also helped OG Loc, a highly laughable "poser" who aspired to be a rapper (ruining rap superstar Madd Dogg's career in the process). The gang is at the second height of its power until Cesar reveals to CJ that Ryder and Big Smoke have betrayed the gang and Frank Tenpenny killed CJ's mom. CJ then must immediately rush to a gang war and rescue a heavily-wounded Sweet until both of them are arrested (by C.R.A.S.H.). Grove Street and Aztecas practically disappear, Big Smoke becomes head of a drug ring and takes over the city (Cesar later explains the loss of gang loyalty and that Ballas, Vagos and former Groves alike all work for Smoke, saying "this is bigger than any gang, ese"). OG Loc also becomes a rich and famous rapper, with Big Smoke acting as his manager as a means to launder his money.
C.R.A.S.H. abandons CJ in rural Whetstone to eliminate a witness against them. It is slowly revealed that they are being tried in court over their corruption (in a case that is quickly building in media attention). Cesar connects CJ to his (mentally unstable) cousin Catalina. Tenpenny introduces CJ to The Truth, who is supplying Tenpenny and CJ with tons of weed to frame a D.A. and enemy of Tenpenny's. Tenpenny demands that CJ pay for the shipment, which forces him to return to work with Catalina, who now has an obsessive crush on him. CJ meets Triad leader Wu Zi Mu ("Woozie") during a street race. Catalina finds him at the race and feels neglected/enraged at CJ, also proclaiming that she has a new boyfriend, Claude. CJ defeats Claude in a street race, gaining the deed to Claude's run down garage. Carl leaves for San Fierro with Truth and Tenpenny's marijuana (despite Tenpenny betraying The Truth). They meet Cesar and Kendl at the garage in Doherty, San Fierro. CJ is angry and believes that the garage is completely useless. Kendl explains to CJ that the property is a great opportunity, and through Truth, he hires Dwaine, Jethro and Zero to work in the garage.

CJ meets with Woozie in San Fierro and the two quickly become strong allies, collaborating to take down each other's enemies - CJ targeting the Loco Syndicate (Big Smoke's suppliers) and Woozie's rivals the Da Nang Boys. CJ infiltrates and eventually kills all the chief members - Jizzy B, T-Bone Mendez, Mike Toreno (as it would seem) and even Ryder from his old gang. The garage (now a car theft ring), as well as renting out property, has now made CJ a millionaire. He receives a surprise phone call from an alive-and-well Mike Toreno, who is a government agent and is recruiting CJ's help in exchange for releasing Sweet from a supposedly permanent life sentence. Although it is a well-kept secret from all his friends, Truth finds CJ at Toreno's place of operation and tells CJ that Toreno can't be trusted. He continues to recruit CJ's help in stealing a jetpack from Area 69, which is needed for Truth's main goal of stealing mysterious, all-important green goo.

Woozie invites CJ to the Triad's extremely glamorous Four Dragons Casino in Las Venturas. Upon arrival, CJ is given shares in the casino by Woozie, "in exchange for some help setting it up". They are faced with aggressive competition from Mafia-run Caligula's Palace and as revenge, spend weeks and weeks planning an extremely elaborate heist of Caligula's. This dually involves CJ infiltrating Caligula's inner circle of management (by chance of Truth's association with music industry men Kent Paul and Maccer) to work with manager Ken "Rosie" Rosenberg and even don Salvatore Leone (CJ helps Rosie, Paul and Maccer fake their deaths to escape Salvatore's rage). During this time period, C.R.A.S.H. extracts the last of CJ's labor before they try to kill CJ (and their own Jimmy Hernandez for snitching on them), CJ killing Eddie Pulaski and escaping alive. CJ also, by chance, sees Madd Dogg attempting suicide and saves his life, partially out of guilt for ruining his career.

His ongoing vendetta on Tenpenny and Big Smoke, finalized by Madd Dogg having to sell his mansion to drug lord Big Poppa, prompts CJ to return to Los Santos, taking back the rapper's mansion by force. While recording Madd Dogg's new album, Toreno gives CJ the last of his work (despite CJ's extreme frustration at first) before Sweet is released from prison. Sweet is disgusted at CJ for his new millionaire's lifestyle, and having forgotten all about helping Grove Street. Sweet immediately takes Carl to begin their task of reclaiming all of their turf. As the gang returns to power, he finds time to get back Madd Dogg's rhyme book from OG Loc, repairing Madd Dogg's career as well as being another strike to Big Smoke. In the case against Tenpenny, it's shown on the news that since there is no evidence implicating him in his criminal activities (evidence that Tenpenny had CJ destroy), he would walk free, and only minutes after there were citywide riots. During the confusion, Groves Street takes almost half of the city's turf, CJ personally kills Big Smoke (to earn Sweet's respect), and Frank Tenpenny also dies after crashing his firetruck off the bridge above Grove Street. At a celebration at the Johnson house, Madd Dogg announces "our first gold record" to CJ and Ken Rosenberg. Later in the night, Sweet insists on making Grove Street a priority, Kendl Johnson suggests going back to Las Venturas with Wu Zi Mu, but Carl's only reply was that he is "fittin to hit the block, see what's happening".

After GTA San Andreas
At the very end of the game, CJ is a young multi-millionaire. His assets and business interests include Grove Street gang and Madd Dogg's contract in Los Santos, a car garage and several other properties in San Fierro, and shares in Four Dragons casino in Las Venturas. He even still has the government's $60 million jetpack. An Easter Egg in Grand Theft Auto IV suggests that CJ possibly died after 1992. However a reference of his death is never directly made. Another possibility is that he returned to Liberty City (in the GTA IV rendition) and expanded his business there, as a billboard outside the Algonquin safehouse depicts Carl in a suit and tie drinking wine with the word "Fruntalot" beside it, which is presumably the product that is being advertised. Either way, this is not considered canon for the GTA III Era.
Murders committedEdit
Freddy (Killed by CJ and OG Loc after a bike chase for raping OG Loc in prison)
Alan Crawford (Killed on OG Loc's orders in order to sabotage Madd Dogg's career)
Little Weasel (Killed for betraying the Grove Street Families and joining the Ballas)
Kane (Killed on Sweet's orders to deal damage to the Ballas)
Jizzy B. (Killed in order to begin disbanding the Loco Syndicate and to obtain the location of the drug deal)
T-Bone Mendez (Killed with the help of Cesar Vialpando to disband the Loco Syndicate)
Ryder (Killed for betraying the Grove Street Families and eventually joining the Ballas)
The Snakehead (Killed on orders from Wu Zi Mu to weaken the Da Nang Boys)
Benny (Killed in order to get access to Millie Perkins' Home)
Marco Forelli (Killed on Salvatore Leone's order)
Eddie Pulaski (Killed for arranging the assassination of CJ's mother)
Big Poppa (Killed in order to recover Madd Dogg's mansion)
Big Smoke (Killed for betraying the Grove Street Families and responsible for CJ's mother's death)
Possible murdersEdit
Derek (Can be killed in order to steal a tanker)
Millie Perkins (Can be killed to gain quicker access to her keycard to rob Caligula's Palace)
CJ is markedly different from the previous playable characters in the Grand Theft Auto series. While Claude and Tommy Vercetti are both depicted as completely heartless and feeling no regret for all of the people that they kill, CJ is depicted as having a considerably less violent personality, occasionally giving his victims a chance to redeem themselves. An example is his failed attempt at convincing Eddie Pulaski to see that he was no more than Tenpenny's pawn. Furthermore, CJ displays genuine remorse for having to kill fellow Grove Street friends Ryder and Big Smoke, who he considered close friends. However, CJ still has no problem with killing members of other gangs, and willfully slaughters any that get in his way of reclaiming Grove Street Families turf or try to sabotage his businesses, though in return, the gangsters are trying to kill CJ also. CJ's naive personality, inexperience and face-value interpretations of other characters responses occasionally leads to them question CJ's intelligence (The Truth, Catalina). CJ, like his brother Sweet, holds a deep seated loyalty towards Grove street and the hood, as seen in his reaction to the resentful attitude of his friends and siblings early on. Though, towards the end of the game, while Sweet was in prison, and CJ was making progress in San Fierro and Las Venturas, the unattended Grove street became Ballas turf and was filled with crack dealers. CJ tries to get his brother to abandon the hood, for their assets elsewhere, but he is quickly convinced into re-taking the turf.
CJ was voiced by Chris Bellard, known as Young Maylay. Rumors circulated the internet for a while that either Dave Chappelle or 50 Cent were supposed to voice CJ, but these were most likely just wishful thoughts on the part of their fans.

Near the beginning of the game, it is implied that CJ was rather well built, before he left San Andreas. This is shown by Big Smoke, when he says that "the east coast (Liberty City) has slimmed you down, CJ".
Carl is the most customizable character in a GTA game to date, featuring clothes, tattoos, and hairstyles and the ability to change his physical appearance such as make him fat or muscular.
The clothes that CJ wears may have an effect on his personality, in a way: if CJ is wearing more expensive clothes (i.e: Didier Sachs) rather than cheaper ones (i.e: Binco or Sub Urban), he tends to swear less when he shoots people and comment on how well he is dressed (e.g. "You think I'm just a well dress clown?').
Carl noticeably has a very faint goatee. It is also seen more clearly and in more detail in his concept art. Despite this, he can still get a goatee/beard in the barber shops.
When Rockstar Games revealed that CJ was black, there was considerable uproar in the media regarding the possibility of racism. It was believed Rockstar had taken a great risk by making a black protagonist. Despite this, when the game was released, CJ's character was very well received and Rockstar were praised developing him to to have emotions and morals that weren't present with previous protagonists. Many players even said that they had felt it wrong and out of character for CJ to randomly kill innocent people in-game. This trait was carried over to Niko Bellic for Grand Theft Auto IV.
Carl is also very under-sized outside of cutscenes, being at least half a head shorter than Ryder (who has been called a midget), and sometimes a whole head shorter compared to pedestrians.
In GTA IV a newspaper can randomly be found used as a Homeless Man's bed showing CJ on the front to have been killed in between San Andreas and GTA IV. It is unknown whether this is true.
Carl is the only African-American protagonist in the series to date. Victor Vance was originally thought to be African-American too, however it is revealed in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories that Vic and Lance are half-caucasian, and their father was from the Dominican Republic.
Carl is the first playable character in the series who is actually able to swim. This feature is also available for all future protagonists, except for Toni Cipriani.
There is a billboard in GTA IV, showing a man resembling CJ, possibly indicating that he has become incredibly wealthy, and still alive, also, the text under "Fruntalot" says "[C]oncrete [J]ungle", stating CJ.
Whenever CJ steals a driving car, he would simply punch or kick the driver in the face whenever he steals it from its driver's door, while if it has a passenger and he opens the passenger's door, he would bang the passenger's head on the dashboard before subsequently pulling him/her out of the car
Whenever CJ keeps on eating at any food outlet, he will end up vomiting his food and the service crew can be seen laughing at him.
Carl Johnson is one of few playable characters not to appear or reappear in another GTA III era game, the other one being Tommy Vercetti.
Carl's name can be heard on WCTR.
Carl is the only character that must eat to avoid starving and eventually die.
CJ ties for the second most amount of murders in the GTA III era with Toni Cipriani, with a body count of thirteen (not counting optional murders).
CJ is second in comand of the grove street families.