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Magic Johnson

Headshot of a suited-up Magic Johnson with a broad smile.

(b. 1959)


Biography current as of induction in 2011

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is an NBA superstar, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Named the greatest point guard of all time by, Johnson excelled at basketball from the time he was in high school. In college, he helped Michigan State win the national championship and was chosen MVP. The Lakers selected him as the first pick in the 1979 NBA draft, and he became the first rookie to start in an All-Star game. The Lakers won the NBA championship, and Johnson became the youngest player to be playoff MVP.

During his 12 years with the Lakers, the team won five championships and he was chosen playoff MVP three times. He was a 12-time All-Star and the 1990 All-Star game MVP. He averaged 19.7 points per game, pulled down 6,376 rebounds, and had 1,698 steals. In 1990–91, he set an assist record, finishing the season with a total of 9,921. The term “triple double” (when points, rebounds, and assists reach double digits in a game) was coined largely for him. Johnson was a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. basketball team – known as the “Dream Team” – in the 1992 Olympics.

After learning he was HIV-positive in 1991, Johnson became a powerful voice for AIDS awareness. He is Chairman and Founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, which focuses on scholarship, transformation and community empowerment through HIV/AIDS awareness & prevention programs, Community Empowerment Centers, and the Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program. Approaching its 20th anniversary, the Magic Johnson Foundation has become one of the most recognizable philanthropic organizations in the world.

Also a successful businessman, Johnson is Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. His company is noted for unprecedented partnerships in ethnically diverse and underserved communities that serve as the catalyst for redevelopment in urban communities and the blueprint for successful engagement with urban consumers.

View more inductees from the 6th class, inducted in 2011.