What You Need to Know About Mayme Hatcher Johnson?

November 26, 2023   | March 22, 2024  | 

    Mayme Hatcher Johnson gained popularity as “Bumpy’s Girl” following her marriage to the renowned American gangster, Ellsworth Raymon Bumpy Johnson. The former waitress ruled the Harlem neighborhood with grace and dignity after her husband’s death.

    Did she engage in any crime with her husband? Did she become a gangster herself? How was her life before and after the marriage with Bumpy?

    Let’s explore more about Mayme Hatcher Johnson.

    Key Takeaways

    • Mayme Hatcher Johnson married Bumpy in October 1948.
    • Her husband was the most famous gangster in Harlem, New York.
    • She wrote a biography of her husband at the age of 93.

    Mayme Hatcher Johnson is Bumpy’s wife; When did they meet?

    Ellsworth Raymond Johnson aka Bumpy met Mayme Hatcher in April 1948 at a restaurant on 7th Avenue near 122d Street. The duo quickly got along with each other.

    According to the sources, Mayme and Bumpy left the restaurant together and went to watch a movie that night. After dating for six months, the lovebirds exchanged their vows in October 1948 in a civil ceremony.

    Did She have any Children with Bumpy?

    Mayme had a daughter named Elease Johnson with Bumpy. Likewise, she also had a stepdaughter named Ruthie Johnson from Bumpy’s relationship with another woman. Both of them died in 2006.

    Hatcher’s Husband was Known as the “Godfather of Harlem”

    Ellsworth Raymon “Bumpy” Johnson was the most famous gangster in the Harlem neighborhood of New York during the 20th century. Born in 1905, on October 31, the South Carolina native moved to Harlem, New York with his family. The name “Bumpy” was given to him due to a large bump on his forehead.

    At the age of 15, he began performing various odd jobs in exchange for money. He was sent to a reformatory at the age of 17. Likewise, during his 20s, he had already spent most of his time in and out of prison.

    Mayme's husband Bumpy Johnson was sentenced to prison for 15 years for selling heroin.
    Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson.

    Bumpy came to power during the 1930s when he started working for the boss of the Harlem mob, Stephanie St. Claire, also known as “The Queen of Numbers”.  Despite having an identity as a gangster, he was also respected by people for his helping nature in the community.

    In 1952, Johnson was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, California for selling heroin. However, he was released in 1963 after serving only 10 years.

    Bumpy lost his life due to heart failure at the age of 62 on July 7, 1968.

    Mayme’s Husband Became a Subject For Movies

    Several films were based on Johnson’s story, including Come Back Charleston Blue (1972), Escape from Alcatraz (1979), The Cotton Club (1984), Hoodlum (1997), and Life (1999). The most recent movie based on Bumpy’s life was American Gangster (2007).

    Similarly, Epix’s 2019 TV series, Godfather of Harlem is the recent show that mainly focuses on Bumpy’s return from the Alcatraz prison.

    Mayme’s Early Life; Where Was She Born?

    Mrs. Johnson was born in 1915 near Ashville, North Carolina. She completed her formal studies at a government school. She then moved to New York in 1938.

    Mayme Hatcher Johnson was a waitress before marrying Bumpy
    Mayme Hatcher Johnson in her early days.

    Initially, she worked as a waitress at Hagar’s, a Washinton Heights Club owned by the singer and actress Ethel Waters. Moreover, she was also a hostess at a Manhattan restaurant.

    Mayme opted to be a homemaker after her marriage to Bumpy. She was the loyal and supportive wife to Bumpy right until his death in 1968.

    Mayme Became an Author at the age of 93

    After her husband’s death, Mayme wanted the world to know about the genuine side of Bumpy. Hence, she wrote a biography called “Harlem Godfather: The Rap on my Husband, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson”. The book was published in February 2008.

    Her goddaughter Kare E. Quinones was the co-author of the book.

    Mayme’s Death and Obituary

    The waitress-turned-author, Mayme took her last breath on May 1, 2009. She died of heart failure at the age of 94 in Kearsley, a West Philadelphia retirement community.

    Mayme is survived by a granddaughter, Margaret; a great-grandson Anthony; a brother, Melvin; a sister, Lily Andrews; and two goddaughters Karen E. Quinones Miller and Camille R. Quinones.

    Quick Facts
    Full Name Mayme Hatcher Johnson
    Popular Name Bumpy's Girl
    Birth Place North Carolina
    Birthday 1915
    Death May 1, 2009
    Death Cause heart failure
    Age 94 years
    Nationality American
    Siblings Lily Andrews
    Profession Author
    Sexuality Straight
    Spouse Ellsworth Raymond Johnson (1948-68)
    Children Ruthie Johnson and Elease Johnson