About Our Founder


Willis Johnson 

Founder Copart




Willis Johnson was born in Clinton, OK where he grew up learning about business from his father, an entrepreneur who dabbled in everything from dairy farming to running restaurants and building houses. Willis inherited that entrepreneurial spirit and would go on to found Copart in 1982 with just one auction location. He currently lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Joyce but remains Chairman of the Board of Copart. When he’s not focused on family or work, he enjoys classic cars and black Angus cattle.

Thoughts from Willis

“When I look back, I think my success is partly due to the lessons my father taught me and partly due to God’s hand guiding me along the way. I also think a good portion of it has to do with the fact it never occurred to me that what I was doing may not work. I never thought I couldn’t do it. Some may call it confidence. Some may even think that kind of blind optimism comes from ignorance. But I just never let the possibility of failure enter my mind. And I think when you can leap into something whole heartedly like that you can do amazing things because you don’t have fear holding you back.” – Willis Johnson