Born in Santa Monica at St. John’s Hospital, Johnson was raised and lived in the city until the 1990s, when he moved to Agoura Hills. His family has lived in California since 1810 and in Santa Monica since 1875. His great-aunt was Arcadia Bandini de Baker, the wife of the city’s co-founder, Col. Robert S. Baker.
Ricardo has been interested in Santa Monica and California history since 1956 and has been associated with the Santa Monica History Museum from its beginnings. He is the curator fo the museum’s J.P. Jones and Bandini collection with over 50,000 photographs and records, which he helped catologue from 2004 to 2009 with a grant from the City of Santa Monica.
He holds research cards at the Huntington Library, UCLA Research Center, National Archives in Washington, DC, and several other libraries. He has primarily worked on Santa Monica and California history for the past 35 years and in addition to being Chair of the Board of Directors is the research librarian for the Santa Monica History Museum.
Bandini Johnson is also President of the Bandini Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs the Heroes Golf Course and Japanese Gardens at the West Los Angeles Greater VA Healthcare Center.