Magic Johnson’s Age, Family, Career and More

For years, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has been revered as a legend by the business and basketball communities. Worth an estimated $800 million, Johnson has made his way from the basketball courts of Lansing, Michigan, to the boards of major corporations. This article focuses on Johnson’s illustrious life, entrepreneurial projects, and significant contributions as a player and off the court. Johnson was born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. At the age of 64, Johnson developed a keen interest in basketball and followed players such as Earl Monroe and Bill Russell.

Early life and basketball career

Magic Johnson was born on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan. A fan since the days of Earl Monroe, Johnson showed talent as a student at Everett High School, earning the nickname “Magic” with an impressive triple-double at the age of 15. He then enrolled at Michigan State University (where he led the team to victory over Indiana State and Larry Bird in the 1979 NCAA championship final, one of the most watched college basketball games of all time). At Michigan State, Johnson led the team to win the NCAA championship game, making history and breaking all records since.

NBA Dominance

Magic Johnson began his NBA career in 1979 when he was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. He rose to fame by winning the NBA Championship and Finals MVP in his first season. During his 13 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic played in 12 All-Star Games, won five NBA Championships and three MVP Awards. Known for his unique combination of court vision and size, Johnson’s rivalry with Larry Bird sparked interest in basketball in the 1980s.

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Short coaching experience

In 1991, Magic retired from the game due to his HIV diagnosis, but he made a brief return to coaching during the 1993-94 season when the Lakers took over as head coach for Randy Pfund and Bill Burtka. Under his guidance, the Lakers won five of six games before losing a few more. He was then forced to leave the team but remained involved by purchasing a 5% stake in the team.

Venture Capital

Magic Johnson’s entrepreneurial plans began to take shape after his basketball career ended. He founded Magic Enterprises, which is currently valued at over $1 billion. One of his most memorable ventures was working with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to open stores in poor urban areas, an initiative that not only brought huge profits but also had great social significance.

In 2012, Johnson and his partners purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion. Since then, he has also acquired a controlling stake in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and co-owns the Major League Soccer expansion team, Los Angeles Football Club (LOSFC). In addition, in 2023, his investment group acquired the Washington Commanders for $6.05 billion!

Impact on HIV awareness

In 1991, Johnson publicly announced that he had AIDS, a significant moment in public awareness. Through his foundation, the Magic Johnson Foundation, he helped to dispel misconceptions and reduce stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS by providing better information, advances in treatment, and overall improvements in prevention strategies and treatment. His advocacy had a lasting impact.

Personal life and real estate

Magic has been married to Cookie Johnson since 1991. They have two children: Earvin III (EJ) and Elisa, who became famous on the reality TV show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Johnson also has a child from a previous relationship, Andre. They currently live in Beverly Hills and Dana Point, California, and also own property in Napili, Hawaii.

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Real estate portfolio

Magic’s investments in real estate are also impressive. Magic and his wife own two magnificent properties, a luxurious home in Beverly Hills and a Tuscan-style beach property in Dana Point; they previously owned a property in Napili, Hawaii, but eventually traded it for a more convenient location closer to their home in California. The former Bel Air estate (owned from 1981 to 1990) was sold for $14.5 million and then reduced to just over $10 million later in 2023.

Nike Legend

A famous urban legend claims that Magic Johnson turned down an offer from Nike in the late 1970s that would have made him a millionaire. According to the story, Phil Knight offered Magic 100,000 shares of stock, currently valued at $5.2 billion. However, in July 1979, Magic agreed to sign with Converse, making the legend less credible than it once was.

The legend of Magic Johnson extends far beyond basketball achievements. From his success as an entrepreneur and HIV/AIDS awareness to community development through business ventures, and his rise from one of the most humble athletes of his Lansing days to one of the most successful athletes in history, Magic Johnson is remembered for his strength, perseverance, and visionary leadership. It is truly a remarkable legacy!

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