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Earvin (Magic) Johnson

Also known as: Magic, EJ, Buck, Magic Johnson, EJ the DJ

Athlete Image

Photo ©: Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com

Birthday: August 14, 1959, Lansing, Michigan

Zodiac: Leo

Height: 6'9

Associated Professional Sports:

  • Professional basketball Player

    Basketball Player

  • Olympic Athlete

    Olympic Athlete

Associated Leagues:

  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • 1992 Olympic Games
  • Dayton Dragons, Class A Minor League Baseball Team (2011)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB (2012)
  • Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA (2014)

Legacy of Magic- A Legendary Basketball Wizard

Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is a retired American basketball player. He was born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. Johnson got drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after his sophomore year at Michigan State University, 1979. He led his team, the Los Angeles Lakers to, five victorious championships in his 13 season-long career. By 1996, he became one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. He got inducted into the renowned Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (in 2002 and 2010).

However, the stories of his magical basketball skills originate from his early years. A sports reporter dubbed him as ‘Magic’. It happened when the lanky high school athlete won the junior-level state championships in 1977. He replicated his winning streak by defeating Indiana State as the star player of Michigan State University in 1979. That memorable game won him a worthy opponent in Larry Bird, who went on to play with the Boston Celtics. The legendary Bird-Magic rivalry became the talk of the NBA court. Resulting in some spectacular face-off battles that started in the NBA finals of 1984. That year, Bird avenged his college defeat, but Johnson beat him in the 1985 and 1987 NBA finals.

After winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 1979, Johnson skipped university to join the big league. As the Lakers’ point guard, he continued to live up to his nickname by taking the team to his first NBA championships in 1980. History repeated itself in four other seasons where the Lakers leaped ahead of others to secure the NBA championships in 1982, 1985,1987, and 1988. The finals in 1988 led to a record-winning victory when they defeated the Detroit Pistons. They were the first team to win back to back NBA championships since the Celtics’ consecutive win in the late 60s. His successful run included the dynamic partnerships with his teammate and senior, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

His tremendous efforts in the 1979-80 season helped him secure the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. He was the first rookie to do so, and one of the few who played all five basketball positions. He received three more MVP awards in 1987 and then consecutively in 1989 and 1990. Despite his iconic performances, he never one-upped his team. His swift passes and creative shots made him the legend he is today.

In the 1990-91 season, Johnson took the Lakers to the NBA finals for the ninth time after overthrowing the Portland TrailBlazers despite strong opposition from Clyde Drexler. However, his win did not last when Michael Jordan entered the arena with the Chicago Bulls.

Even more shocking than the loss was his early retirement in 1991. He made global headlines by openly disclosing that he was HIV-positive. Even though he knew that he might never see the court after his confession.

However, this was not the end of Magic Johnson. The star player returned to the court in several different ways. His first comeback was in the 1992 All-Star Game, which earned him another MVP award. He then represented America in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The American Dream Team (including former rivals Larry Bird and Michael Jordan) won the gold medal. It added another win to Johnson’s award-winning career. He formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars to bring basketball to the world. The globetrotting team played exhibition games in several countries.

Later on, Johnson coached the Lakers in 1994. His coaching career was short-lived after his players’ lukewarm performance. That did not stop him from investing in the team and becoming a part-owner between the years 1994-2010. In 1995-1996, he played his 13th and final NBA season, proving that his ‘magic’ was still there. Unfortunately, the Houston Rockets destroyed the team in the 1996 playoffs. After that Johnson retired from the professional league.

In 2012, Magic purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers with a group of other investors. He rejoined the Lakers as an advisor to the team’s owner, Jeanie Buss, five years later. He got promoted as the president within weeks, but his tenure did not produce any championships. He did, however, persuade Le Bron James to join the Lakers. He eventually stepped down from this position before the 2018-2019 season ended.

Magic Johnson Biography—Life Outside the Court

Magic Johnsons' Family

Born as Earvin Johnson Jr., Magic Johnson had nine brothers and sisters. Their father worked for General Motors while their mother was a school custodian. Johnson was passionate about basketball and could be seen bouncing his ball around the neighborhood, from an early age.

At present (2020), he lives in Beverley Hills with his wife, Cookie. They got married in 1991. He has three children Earvin III and an adopted daughter, Elisa, with Cookie. His oldest, Andre, was born in 1981 from a previous relationship.

Business & Other Ventures

After leaving the Lakers, he donned many hats in the professional world. It included television appearances as a sports commentator, night talk-show host, and producer of a record label right after his retirement.

He also penned his autobiography in 1992, titled My Life. Before this, he published two books about his game tactics aptly named Magic (1983) and Magic's Touch (1989).

As an entrepreneur, he established the Magic Johnson Enterprises . The parent company owns several assets, most of which focus on urban development. These ventures have resulted in the extension of Starbucks coffee via a partnership named Urban Coffee Opportunities. He also built many movie theatres in under-resourced areas in LA. Other notable investments include his association with Pepsi. Co and aXiomatic Sports.

In (2011), he became a minority-owner for the Class A minor league baseball team Dayton Dragons. The following year, he became the co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball team), and in 2014 Johnson became a stakeholder for the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA).

His book 32 Ways to be a Champion in Business, the 2008 best-seller, gives readers an insight into his business mindset. Magic also collaborated with Bird to publish a nostalgic memoir called When the Game Was Ours, published in 2009.


In 1991, Johnson founded the Magic Johnson Foundation to raise awareness about HIV and find ways to combat it. Naturally, Magic became an uplifting influential HIV activist. His campaigns targeted the youth, promoted safe sex, and addressed the stereotypes surrounding the infection. He worked for the National Commission on AIDS and spoke on international platforms, including the United Nations and World AIDS Day Conference in 1999. Magic was also appointed as the UN Messenger of Peace in 1998.

Johnson also supports charities like the Miami Project, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Charity Folk, and many others.

Team History

  • Los Angeles Lakers, NBA (1994-2010)
  • Dayton Dragons, Class A Minor League Baseball Team (2011)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB (2012)
  • Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA (2014)

Awards & Achievements

  • NCAA champion with Michigan State University (1979)
  • NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1979)
  • Won 5 NBA champion winner (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
  • Was awarded 3 NBA Finals MVP (1980, 1982, 1987), 3 NBA MVP awards (1987, 1989, 1990) and 2 NBA All-Star Game MVP (1990, 1992)
  • Participated in 12 NBA All-Star (1980, 1982–1992)
  • 9× All-NBA First Team (1983–1991)
  • 4× NBA assists leader (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987) and 2x NBA steals leader (1981, 1982)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1992)
  • Olympics Gold Medal for Men’s Basketball Team (1992)
  • NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team (1996)
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2002)

Associated Organizations

  • Nike
  • Pepsi Co.
  • Starbucks
  • TGI Fridays
  • Burger King
  • Sodexo

Associated Charities

  • Magic Johnson Foundation
  • The Miami Project
  • St. Anne’s
  • Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Charity Folks
  • Keep a Child Alive
  • Magic Johnson Enterprises

Film History

  • Empire (TV Series)(2018)
  • 2011The Game (TV Series)(2011)
  • Obsessed (executive producer - as Earvin 'Magic' Johnson)(2009)
  • Hair Show (executive producer)(2004)
  • Malcolm in the Middle (TV Series)(2002)
  • The Magic Hour (TV Series) (executive producer - 5 episodes)(1998)

Related Players

  • Michael Jordan (MJ, Air Jordan)
  • Larry Bird (Larry Legend, The Great White Hope)
  • Kareem Abdul Jabbar (The Big A, the Tower of Power)
  • LeBron James (King James, the L-Train)