John H. and Eunice Johnson: Johnson Publishing Company. Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company was founded in 1942 by John and Eunice Johnson and is the curator of the African-American experience — past, present and future.Â Johnson began his publishing conglomerate with a mere $500 dollars, borrowed against his mother’s home furnishings. The Negro Digest similar to the Reader’s Digest was the first publication (it folded in 1951).The couple’s second publication, Ebony, a pictorial news magazine fashioned after Life magazine first appeared in November 1945. Jet magazine was launched in 1951 to highlight news of African-Americans in the social limelight, politics, entertainment, business and sports (it shifted to a digital only format in 2014). A touring fashion show in 1958 gave birth to the Ebony Fashion Fair and in 1973 the Johnsons started their Fashion Fair Cosmetics line for their fashion show models, who were having trouble finding makeup for African American skin complexions. Johnson Publishing also operates a book division.