How Magic Johnson Continues To Serve Assists In The Boardroom

Earvin Magic Johnson Jr. was born today in 1959. The 59-year-old Black icon was the son of General Motors assembly worker Earvin Sr. and school janitor Christine and had six siblings. Even in a crowded home, Magic was always different. By the 8th grade he was posting 48-point games on the court. That magnificence continued throughout his life as played the roles of barrier breaker, leader, trendsetter, and corporate mogul to perfection. 

Clipper Darrell on Twitter

POWERCOUPLETUESDAY @MagicJohnson and LA @Lakers .. You Have to Respect Greatness!!! Big Birthday Shout Out 2 The Man The Myth and The Legend Magic Johnson!!! When I say happy … u say BIRTHDAY!!! … HAPPY!!! #PCT

Hes an American icon with an ever-evolving story that can be traced from his roots as an incomparable college superstar in East Lansing, Michigan, to his current stature as a business maven knee deep in the structures of The LA Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Three eras define modern day NBA hoops, with the 80s sparking the NBAs enhanced focus on marketing and promoting its superstars, the rise of the sneaker game, and the international expansion of the league’s fanbase. on Twitter

Happy Birthday to @MagicJohnson, the greatest passer, playmaker and Laker of all-time!

The Jordan Era followed and now we are in the LeBron James Era.  

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were the driving forces behind the NBAs increased popularity. Their rivalry, fueled by racial differences and similarities in pursuit of excellence, skill and crowd captivation, was the foundation for an NBA that would become one of the most lucrative and world-renowned sports leagues, fueling a rise in basketball interest around the world. 

The name Magic Johnson is synonymous with star power and social consciousness. From his chain of movie theatres to his ability to lure LeBron James to the Lakers and help to secure the AL East’s Manny Machado for the Dodgers, Magic does big things and pushes the envelope in a relentless pursuit for success. 

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How did @MagicJohnson convince the world he could be a successful businessman and then go on and actually become one? Watch the full episode for a story of magic beyond the basketball court.

Every person of stature has their share of enemies and critics, but not Magic. He became more than just an athlete, but he became a hero when he announced that he had HIV in 1991 and would retire from the game.  

Magic Johnson HIV announcement Part 1

During a press conference in 1991 basketball legend Magic Johnson announces he has HIV and is leaving the NBA.

At the time, it was a disease that people were ignorant about and it carried a very negative stigma. Johnson found out about the disease 45 days before he was supposed to be married to his wife Cookie, who is still in his corner. 

Earvin Magic Johnson on Twitter

My beautiful wife @cjbycookie and I are having an incredible time with our friends on this beautiful yacht!

He started a foundation in efforts to raise money to fight the disease and he humanized every person who was living in a private hell while infected with HIV-AIDS. Johnson was not only courageous in publicly announcing that he contracted the deadly disease but stayed on the forefront of the fight against the illness, educating and creating conversations that led to less bias towards the many inflicted with HIV and AIDS. 

Then he returned to the NBA and educated his teammates all the while dealing with ignorant statements from his rivals about not wanting to play against a person with HIV. 

Lyle Spencer on Twitter

Most influential athlete ever? Jackie Robinson slam-dunk, with Ali second. But let’s not overlook Magic Johnson for HIV activism/awareness/foundation and investing heavily in inner-city businesses. Hugely impactful.

Instead of withering into the background, Magics injected life into every corporate, athletic or socially-inspired endeavor hes embarked on. Magic Johnson’s also a supporter of the LGBT community, with his son EJ is a proud and famous member of. 

Has there ever been a more inspirational human being? Its debatable, but Johnson sure is up there. 

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Since ending his NBA career in 1996, Johnsons ramped up his efforts as a businessman. Hes the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), a billion-dollar conglomerate he started in 1987 (while he was still active in the NBA) with sprawling interests in including ASPiRE, Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies, and Clear Health Alliance, which helps provide health-care for HIV/AIDS patients.

He continues to expand his business portfolio and exist as the premier figure in LA Sports. LA has too many sports, business and entertainment moguls to count, but Magic is different. His fantasy journey endured some harsh realities that would crush a lot of people, but we saw Magic rise to the occasion every single time; in life, on the court and when facing his immortality.  Magic is an example of a man who shook his vulnerabilities by confronting them and has now taken on an air of invincibility that continues to shape the world. 

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