Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, an icon within the NBA, has won five championships with his team the Los Angeles Lakers. Discover more about Magic's career and charitable endeavors to understand how he made history as one of basketball's greatest stars ever.


Magic Johnson has long been one of the most beloved figures in basketball, leaving an indelible mark on its history. Starting as an All-American at Michigan State in 1979 and going on to play for both Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson Foundation (to help combat HIV/AIDS and other health issues). We will explore Magic’s remarkable life story in this article as he became a symbol of success both on and off the court.

Early Life and Career of Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson is an American basketball icon and entrepreneur best known for his phenomenal career with the Los Angeles Lakers during which he won five NBA Championships, three MVP awards, and was honored as one of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Johnson’s success on the court has been paralleled by that in business and philanthropy.

Magic Johnson was born August 14th 1959 in Lansing Michigan. As soon as he could walk, Johnson began playing basketball and quickly rose through the ranks at Everett High School before going on to Michigan State University where he led them to an NCAA title victory in 1979.

After graduating college, Magic declared himself eligible for the 1979 NBA Draft and was quickly selected first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. From there on out, his impactful play would make an immediate and long-lasting contribution to their fortunes and ultimately five championships won with nine All-Star selections and two Finals MVP awards in 13 seasons with them.

After retiring from basketball in 1991 due to contracting HIV/AIDS, Magic Johnson ventured into various business endeavors including movie theaters and real estate development.

Furthermore, Johnson established The Magic Johnson Foundation which provides support and promotes education initiatives across urban America.

Professional Basketball Accomplishments

Magic Johnson stands among the greatest basketball players of all time. An All-Star in every single season he played and named MVP three times, Johnson also won five NBA championships between Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons teams with career averages of 19.5 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game – an all-time great stat!

Johnson was famous for his dynamic playmaking abilities on offense and fierce defense, often serving as point guard but often shifting among positions such as center, small forward, or even playing point himself. His uncanny ability to make plays for himself or teammates made him one of sports history’s great showmen and fan favorites alike.

Off the court, Johnson has enjoyed just as much success outside of basketball as during it. He established an investment and entrepreneurial firm; then went on to part own both the Lakers and MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers franchises as part owner. Furthermore, he became an accomplished philanthropist, giving millions to various charities throughout his lifetime while creating The Magic Johnson Foundation to assist underprivileged communities around the United States.
Magic Johnson will go down in basketball history as one of its greatest ever players.

Business Ventures and Philanthropy

Magic Johnson’s legacy extends far beyond basketball; he has established himself as an effective businessperson and philanthropist, using his influence to foster positive changes across communities around the globe.

Magic Johnson has long been recognized as an outstanding basketball player and as a successful entrepreneur in business. He served as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, a conglomerate consisting of movie theaters, fitness centers, and marketing firms that he owns or is involved with. His entrepreneurial acumen has amassed him millions over time while serving as an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs everywhere.
Johnson is no stranger to charitable work; through The Magic Johnson Foundation he has provided financial support for HIV/AIDS education and awareness programs, as well as his Bridgescape Academy Program which helps high school dropouts achieve GEDs online classes combined with career counseling services. Furthermore, he frequently donates money to organizations supporting underprivileged children throughout the U.S.

HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Education

Magic Johnson is an iconic basketball player, entrepreneur and philanthropist who also promotes HIV/AIDS education and awareness. Since being diagnosed with the virus himself in 1991, his mission has been to educate others about its dangers and ways they can avoid contracting it.
Johnson has dedicated much of his professional life to raising awareness of HIV/AIDS through public speaking engagements, educational programs and fundraising activities. He has spoken at universities and high schools nationwide to inform students of the risks associated with unprotected sex and drug use. Through the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF), he has provided funding for HIV testing centers, medical research initiatives, community outreach programs designed to inform people of its existence.

Magic Johnson has become a recognized figure in HIV/AIDS prevention through both his advocacy work and public comments about living with the illness. By discussing openly about life with HIV, Johnson has helped reduce stigma around living with it while inspiring many to get tested or seek treatment. By raising awareness for this serious health concern, he continues to serve as an inspiration to all those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Legacy of Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson will live long in the memory of basketball fans worldwide. A legendary basketball player, Johnson was among the most influential and accomplished figures ever to grace the court; winning five NBA championships, three MVP awards, twelve All-Star selections and an Olympic gold medal during his time. However, Johnson also left an immense imprint off-court: as an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness education; using his celebrity status to support charities; becoming part owner of both Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers franchises (among many others).

Johnson was known for expanding beyond basketball into business. Following his retirement from professional sports in 1996, he founded Magic Johnson Enterprises which focused on investments in urban communities as well as movie theaters and other entertainment venues. Furthermore, through the Magic Johnson Foundation he also provided financial aid to inner city students pursuing college degrees.

Magic Johnson will live on as an inspiration to future generations for years. As both an on-court leader and off-court icon, his impact was felt worldwide and millions will remember his name forever as being associated with greatness.

Personal Life and Family

Magic Johnson married Earlitha Kelly in 1991 and have since had two children together: EJ (son) and Elisa (daughter). Additionally, Magic has another son from an earlier relationship named Andre whom he is close with as well. Magic enjoys spending time with all three of his children by taking them on vacations or attending their events.


Magic Johnson stands as one of the most iconic figures in basketball history. His achievements have propelled him into one of the all-time greats and his legacy will live on for generations to come. Magic has served as an inspirational figure both on and off the court; showing that hard work and dedication will eventually reap great rewards no matter what obstacles come your way.

Magic Johnson has made immeasurable contributions to basketball. His influence extends far beyond wins and losses; his charitable giving, business acumen and willingness to help others realize their dreams have profoundly altered many people’s lives. Magic serves as an inspiration to us all on how best to use our talents and resources in helping others fulfill theirs.

From rookie basketball stardom in the NBA Finals to an entrepreneurial success post-retirement, Magic Johnson’s story is one of hard work, determination, and success. He overcame obstacles with grace and humility while inspiring millions through his positive energy and generosity. Magic’s legacy will live on in millions who were touched by him throughout their lives and continue to benefit from his efforts today.

Magic Johnson stands as one of the greatest NBA players ever, not only because of his impressive statistics but because he led both on and off the court. His dedication to giving back through his life serves as a reminder that creating change requires more than simply winning; we should all strive for excellence in every aspect of our daily lives in order to leave a positive legacy on others’ lives as well.

As is evident by Magic Johnson’s career achievements, his unselfishness off-court has left a profound imprint on all sports followers today. Not only was Magic an incredible athlete; he used his platform to bring about real change for people’s lives both during his time playing in the NBA and afterwards as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. We can all take something away from his example that greatness comes through hard work combined with kindness towards all regardless of background or circumstance.

Frequently asked questions

What teams did Magic Johnson play for?

Magic Johnson spent his entire NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that time, he won five championships and three-time MVP awards with them.

How many championships did Magic Johnson win?

Magic Johnson won a total of five NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers: three in 1980 (Showtime teams of 1982 and 1985) and two later (1987 and 1988).

What awards has Magic Johnson won throughout his career?

Magic Johnson has earned numerous honors throughout his storied career. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and honored by induction into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame. Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to three NBA Championships (1980, 1982 and 1985). During those championship seasons he also earned two Finals MVP awards (1980 and 1982), five regular season MVP awards (1987-89-91) and nine All-Star appearances from 1980-1988. As part of Team USA he also captured four Olympic gold medals (in 1992, 1996 and 2000). Individually he received numerous honors such as receiving the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1992), John R Wooden Legends of Coaching Award (2006) and finally receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2016.

When was Magic Johnson diagnosed with HIV?

Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in November 1991.

How did Magic Johnson's diagnosis affect his career?

Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis in 1991 had a lasting impact on his career and life. After publicly announcing it, Magic retired from basketball for four years – returning briefly as player-coach of the Lakers but retiring permanently due to health concerns in 1998. While away from basketball he became an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and education; using his platform to raise awareness for testing and prevention as well as decrease stigma surrounding it. Furthermore he created The Magic Johnson Foundation which provided support and resources for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

What other activities is Magic Johnson involved in outside of basketball?

Magic Johnson has many interests outside basketball as an entrepreneur and investor, including movie theaters, fitness centers, restaurants and owning the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team. Furthermore, Johnson is heavily engaged in philanthropy: creating the Magic Johnson Foundation which promotes HIV/AIDS awareness as well as scholarships to underserved communities; serving on various boards such as President’s Council on Physical Fitness (PCPF), NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Los Angeles Urban League among many others.

What organizations does Magic Johnson support and why?

Magic Johnson has long been an advocate for various causes, particularly education, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, minority business development, and urban community engagement through various business activities of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE).
Through MJE, Magic Johnson gives back to underserved communities through organizations dedicated to bettering life for individuals living there. These include the Magic Johnson Foundation which seeks to offer educational opportunities for inner-city youth; UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and MCCF (Minority Corporate Counsel Association) both providing scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds; as well as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation – an international non-profit committed to providing medical support services and medical care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Magic Johnson has served as a spokesperson for various national campaigns such as “Say No to Drugs”, the “Be A Star” anti-bullying initiative and the National Basketball Players Association’s “Stay In School” program. Through these involvements he hopes to increase public awareness around important issues like drug abuse prevention, bullying prevention and education advocacy.

What impact has Magic Johnson had on the NBA since his retirement from playing?

Magic Johnson has made a significant mark since retiring as an NBA player. Now serving as President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, he has overseen its revival – one of sports’ most-storied franchises! Magic Johnson has long been an outspoken advocate of HIV/AIDS awareness and education, having founded The Magic Johnson Foundation to combat this illness. He has also been an outspoken proponent of diversity within the NBA, advocating for more opportunities for minorities to advance themselves within front office positions and ownership roles across the league. Furthermore, he remains popular among fans through various television programs he hosts as well as public speaking engagements regarding basketball-related subjects.

How has the public perception of Magic Johnson changed over time?

Magic Johnson has long been revered in sports circles, yet his public perception has altered over time. At first, he was celebrated as an NBA basketball superstar who led Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, inspiring countless young athletes as a role model and symbol of success on court. But over time his public image has evolved.
Magic Johnson made headlines when he announced in 1991 that he had tested positive for HIV. People immediately associated him with the virus and expressed fear about coming in contact with either him or his blood. But instead of reacting negatively, Magic took this opportunity to educate the public about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment initiatives – leading to him becoming recognized as an advocate in this arena.
Magic Johnson continues to inspire admiration and respect from members of society for both his incredible athletic accomplishments on the court as well as his efforts in raising HIV/AIDS awareness. He remains viewed as an inspiring role model who uses his platform for positive change around him.

Has Magic Johnson ever been named MVP of the NBA Finals?

No, Magic Johnson has never won an MVP Award at an NBA Finals game, though he did earn such honors three times at an All-Star Game (1980, 1982 and 1992) and twice more during regular season play (1987 & 1989). Additionally, during his time with Los Angeles Lakers he earned five championship titles.

How has Magic Johnson used his fame to help others in need?

Magic Johnson has used his fame to aid those in need, creating the Magic Johnson Foundation. This organization provides HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs, educational outreach initiatives and economic development projects for minority populations and underserved communities. He also created Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy which assists high school dropouts earn their diplomas; additionally he has donated millions to various charitable causes over time.

How long did Magic Johnson play in the NBA?

Magic Johnson played 13 seasons in the NBA from 1979-1991 and earned five championships and three MVP awards during that time. Although he retired permanently at first in 1991, Magic made one final brief return appearance before bowing out completely in 1996.

What is the “Magic Johnson Foundation”?

The Magic Johnson Foundation was established by NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson in 1991 to address educational, health and social needs within underserved communities. Working in collaboration with local schools and community organizations, it offers resources for youth development such as HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns as well as college readiness and career preparedness programs for underrepresented students. Furthermore, funding research for treatments or prevention of HIV/AIDS treatments and prevention efforts.

Who were some of Magic Johnson's teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers?

On the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson shared the floor with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, A.C. Green and Mychal Thompson – among many others.

Has Magic Johnson ever coached a professional basketball team?

Yes, Magic Johnson has served as a professional basketball coach. From 1994-1996 he was head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers as well as serving as an assistant coach during their 1993-94 campaign and part-time consultant during their 2009-10 championship run.

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