What Magic Johnson Has Done for the Black Community
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

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Earvin "Magic" Johnson at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in 2013. (Image: File)

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He founded the Magic Johnson Foundation, not long after his announcement. The foundation “works to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.”

He also founded Magic Johnson Enterprises in 1987.

Its mission was to serve diverse communities and bring high-quality businesses to minority areas typically underserved by big corps.

Johnson seemed to invest in nearly everything — theaters, restaurants, fitness centers, sports teams, even a television network. The wide range of jobs provided is breathtaking.

A partnership with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made him millions after he sold his stake and his shares in more than 100 franchises back to the company.

The five-time NBA champion is also credited for bringing Starbucks to Harlem.

Johnson’s business empire is estimated at somewhere between $500-$700 million.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Johnson’s longtime agent and friend Lon Rosen explained how Johnson donates millions of dollars from his empire to charity. 

Rosen said, “I’ve known Earvin since 1979 and his whole mission in life has been to create business opportunities in urban America and to be charitable, he has literally donated tens of millions of dollars of his own money to organizations and individuals.”

As CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises,  he is part-owner of the LA Dodgers major league baseball team and has several enterprises including Magic Workforce Solutions, Sodexo Magic Food Service, Magic Airport Holdings, ASPiRE and other entities.

Giving back is something Mr. Johnson has always maintained is critical. His Magic Johnson Foundation formed not long after he made his 1992 announcement that he was HIV positive, awards student scholarships, hosts job and health fairs, provides HIV/AIDS education and a host of other community services.

At a gathering of black business owners and entrepreneurs at the Black Enterprise Conference and Expo last year in Columbus Ohio, Johnson emphasized his commitment to helping communities prosper.

“It’s my job to reach back and to give back, too. And so I really believe that you can do good and do well at the same time; that you can give back and still be successful at the same time. We should always be about giving back while we’re trying to also build our own success.”

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