Magic Johnson was born on August 14th, 1959 in Lasning, Michigan. His father, Earving Sr. worked on a General Motors assembly line and his mother Christine was a school janitor. Magic fell in love with basketball at an early age watching his heroes like Earl Monroe. Johnson went to Everett High School where he joined the basketball team as quickly as he could. A local sportswriter coined the nickname “Magic” when at the age of 15 he scored a triple double with 36 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists. The name was solidified his senior year when he led hid team to the state championship.
Johnson became known as "Magic" while still playing on his high school basketball team. A reporter covering a game could find no other way to convey the skill with which Johnson played. After graduating from high school, Johnson chose to attend Michigan State in East Lansing, MI in order to stay close to home. While in college, Johnson played on the school team, the well known Spartans. While a Spartan, Johnson led the team to a 25-5 record and a Big Ten conference title in his first year! His record the following year was no less impressive; the Spartans defeated Larry Bird's Indiana State team to capture the national title in one of the most closely watched NCAA games ever.
His professional career consisted of 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won five NBA championships, was named to the NBA All-Star team 12 times, was league MVP three times, and NBA Finals MVP three times. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, and was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.
Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in assists per game, with an average of 11.2. Johnson was a member of the "Dream Team", the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Johnson told the student newspaper at the University of Albany during an appearance last month that he considers his involvement in urban America as his greatest accomplishment. Not his NBA titles. Not his three MVP awards or 12 All-Star appearances. Not the roar of the crowds or the adulation of Lakers fans worldwide.
Johnson’s announcement did a whole lot more for HIV/AIDS awareness than former president Ronald Reagan, whose eight years in office coincided with the disease’s rapid spread across the country and around the globe. Millions died while the U.S. government remained silent. The Reagan administration’s silence about the disease continued until 1988, when the first national, coordinated AIDS education campaign was rolled out. That year, 107 million brochures entitled “Understanding AIDS” were mailed to every household across the country. By this point, nearly 83,000 cases of AIDS had been identified in the United States, and over 45,000 people had died.
Because his fame spread through all levels of society from schoolyard courts to giant sports arenas, the impact of his announcement is likely to be felt by millions of people whose lives have not been touched by the disease.
Johnson made his announcement 3 years after the brochures were mailed. And for many, it was the first real acknowledgement that the epidemic didn’t affect only white gay men.
Johnson was magic. He was a public figure, who was rich, straight, married and black. Everything that Americans thought HIV/AIDS was not.
The Magic Johnson Foundation, founded by Earvin “Magic” Johnson in 1991, works to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.
. Johnson eventually joined TNT as an NBA analyst for seven year, and ultimately landed a multi-year agreement with ESPN as a studio analyst on NBA Countdown in October 2008.
After convincing Starbucks chairman Howard Shultz to let him open three Starbucks stores in the inner city, he built his operation to 125 stores and finally a year ago sold them back to Shultz for a hefty profit. Before that he had done the same in a partnership with Sony chairman Peter Guber to open his chain of Magic Johnson Theaters in South Los Angeles.
Today he has real estate holdings across the nation, he is partnered in numerous business ventures, recently sold his share of the Lakers, is still an ownership partner of the Dayton Dragons and just last month was part of the group of investors who bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $2.1 billion.