Magic and Cookie Johnson To Receive Elizabeth Taylor Commitment To End AIDS Award

Earl “Magic” Johnson and Cookie Johnson are set to be honored with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at the fourth annual Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS.

On Tuesday The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) announced the NBA Hall of Famer and his entrepreneur wife will be commemorated at the ETAF ball set to take place on Sept. 21 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Variety reports.

The couple became proud advocates in the fight against HIV in the wake of Magic announcing his HIV diagnosis in November 1991. He was huge in breaking stigmas around the disease by helping around 80,000 Americans across 16 cities receive free HIV/AIDS testing through the “I Stand With Magic” program the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF) ran from 2006 to 2009.

“We loved Elizabeth Taylor’s passion, activism and the work we did together in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” Magic and Cookie Johnson said.

“Since beginning this journey in the early ’90s, we’ve dedicated our lives to raising awareness and funding programs to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. We would like to thank The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for recognizing our commitment to an AIDS-free world by honoring us with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala. Although there is still work to be done, we appreciate the acknowledgment and look forward to continuing to advocate for those who need it most.”

After responding to news of the award, the Magic Johnson Foundation granted $2.3 million to HIV/AIDS organizations,  via Beverly Press. Over the years, Magic and Cookie have donated upwards of $14 million to more than 80 community organizations and reached millions of Americans through awareness and education campaigns through their foundation.

Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson will serve as a co-chair of this year’s gala along with entrepreneur, producer, ETAF friend, and longtime supporter Christine Chiu.