• Biography

Earvin "Magic" Johnson is known as a former NBA basketball legend, television producer, and entrepreneur. He is most famous for being one of the greatest basketball players ever and for shining a spotlight on the HIV virus when he was diagnosed in 1991.


Background and Education

Magic Johnson was born Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. He came from a large family, Johnson grew up with nine brothers and sisters.  Both of his folks worked to support the family. His father worked for the General Motors plant around the local area and his mom was employed as a school nurse.

He had a passionate energy for basketball and would start practicing in the early mornings. At Everett High School, Johnson earned his acclaimed moniker, "Magic," after a sportswriter saw him score 36, grab 16 rebounds, and pass 16 assists in a single game.


Johnson was drafted into the NBA by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. He did well in his first season averaging 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 helpful assists per game.

Johnson won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards for his play in driving the Lakers to a triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers, winning four of six games in the title series. His championship team additionally included such solid players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes and Norm Nixon.

During Magic Johnson's third season (1981-82) with the team, the Lakers made the NBA Finals once more. For the second time in his master career, the Lakers vanquished the Philadelphia 76ers for the title.  

Personal Life


Johnson's child Earvin III was born in 1992. Johnson and his significant other, Cookie, additionally have a girl named Elisa, whom they gave birth to in 1995. He additionally has a child, Andre Johnson, from a past relationship.

Fighting HIV

In November 1991, Magic Johnson retired from the Lakers in the wake of uncovering that he had HIV, the infection that causes AIDS. He confessed he got the infection through unprotected sex.

The diagnosis was particularly hard for Johnson. At the time he learned he had the sickness, his significant other Cookie was pregnant with their first kid. Luckily, their child, Earvin III, tested negative for HIV.

Johnson's choice to open up to the world about his ailment helped bring issues to light about the sickness. He built up the Magic Johnson Foundation to help HIV/AIDS investigate cures.

Date modified: May 7, 2020
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