John H. Johnson, Founder Of Ebony Magazine Dies

Magazine publishing mogul John H. Johnson, who founded Ebony and Jet magazines, died Monday at age 87. Ebony Magazine has been the reading of choice for generations of African American families. The company’s sister magazine “Jet”, a news and entertainment weekly, continues to hold a strong following.

Mr. Johnson borrowed $500 on his mother’s furniture and created a publishing and cosmetics empire is credited as one of the major trailblazers and he is recognized as the founder of the African-American consumer market. The founder and publisher succumbed after an extended illness on the 60th anniversary of EBONY magazine, which, under his leadership, has been the biggest Black-owned magazine in the world for 60 straight years. In 2002, Johnson named Linda Johnson Rice, the chief operating officer, CEO of the company, but retained the title of chairman and publisher until his death.

In a relased statement, BET founder and chairmen Robert Johnson had the following message: “America has lost not only the greatest African-American business leaders, but one of the greatest American businessmen of all times. What John H. Johnson achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds of race discrimination and economic segregation is a testament to his courage, his vision and his unparalleled entrepreneurial genius. Black America has lost a leader who gave us all a voice and a positive self-image in Ebony and Jet and we will miss him greatly. On behalf of everyone at BET, I express my sincere condolences to his family and his employees.”

In 2002, Johnson named Linda Johnson Rice, the chief operating officer, CEO of the company, but retained the title of chairman and publisher until his death. Rice said her father was active in company affairs. “He was in his office and alert and active until the end. He was the greatest salesman and CEO I have ever known, but he was also a father, friend and mentor with a great sense of humor who never stopped climbing mountains and dreaming dreams.”

via PRNewswire & Ebony

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