Entrepreneur, Basketball Great “Magic” Johnson to Discuss Business and HIV Stigma at Howard University Hospital

WASHINGTON (Jan. 25) -- Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Hall of Fame basketball player turned multi-million dollar entrepreneur, will be at Howard University Hospital from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 to talk about his transformation from basketball to business and how the stigma of being HIV-positive affects him and others.

Johnson, a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, a three-time NBA MVP, winner of five NBA Championships and voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, is now an entrepreneur with a wide range of business interests that include sports, food service, broadcast, entertainment, airports and real estate.

During his talk in the hospital’s Towers Auditorium, he will address Howard Unniversity School of Business students about how he began his business career the keys to making smart entrepreneurial decisions.

In 2012, Johnson became a majority owner of the storied Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.  He is the first African-American majority owner of a major league baseball franchise.  In 2006, he created a national contract food service with Sodexo USA called Sodex-Magic.  One of his retail operations, the Magic Johnson Championship Sub, is in Howard University Hospital.

His multiple business entities and partnerships also include Canyon Johnson, a $1 billion dollar real estate fund; Yucaipa Johnson, a $500 million dollar private equity fund; ASPIRE, an African-American television network; Magic Airport Holdings, Best Buy, T.G.I.F. Friday’s Restaurant, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, a series of radio stations from New York to Phoenix; Magic Johnson Theaters, a nationwide chain of movie theaters; Detroit Venture Partners and Vibe Holdings, LLC. 

He is also chairman of the multi-cultural media company that houses the Vibe, Uptown, and Soul Train brands.  He formerly owned shares in Starbucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.  He owned the Starbucks at Howard University as one of the very first franchise owners. He sold his shares in the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010, but he remains a vice president with the team.

Johnson will talk with Howard University Hospital medical residents, other medical clinicians and human rights leaders about their role in eliminating the stigma associated with HIV.

Since being diagnosed with HIV in 1991, Johnson has been a tireless advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and eliminating the stigma associated with the disease. To combat the disease, Twenty years ago, Johnson founded of the Magic Johnson Foundation with the goal of transforming how the nation sees HIV/AIDS through awareness and prevention programs, Community Empowerment Centers and the Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program.

When Jonson was diagnosed, HIV had been solely associated with drug addicts and homosexuals, but Johnson's campaigns sought to show that the risk of infection was not limited to those groups. Johnson stated that his aim was to "help educate all people about [HIV]" and teach others not to "discriminate against people who have HIV and AIDS."  

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