Magic Johnson Fast Facts
Here's a look at the life of entrepreneur, philanthropist and NBA Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson.
Personal: Birth date: August 14, 1959
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan
Birth name: Earvin Johnson, Jr.
Father: Earvin Johnson, Sr., an autoworker
Mother: Christine Johnson, a school custodian
Marriages: Earleatha "Cookie" Kelly (September 14, 1991-present)
Children: with Cookie Kelly: Elisa (born and adopted January 1995), Earvin III (June 4, 1992); with Melissa Mitchell: Andre (February 20, 1981)
Education: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (1977-1979, dropped out)
Other facts: Johnson is 6'9" tall. The average height for an NBA player in the 1980s was 6'7".
The rivalry with Larry Bird, another NBA superstar, began in college. They became friends while shooting a Converse shoe commercial in 1984.
Helped the Lakers win five NBA championships, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
Was named NBA Most Valuable Player three times, 1987, 1989 and 1990.
Has explained that the way he contracted HIV was through sexual encounters with multiple female partners in the 1980s.
He is CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises which owns radio stations, movie theaters, magazines, real estate, a cable network, a bank, a minor league and a major league baseball team, partnerships with restaurants, Sony, Aetna, Best Buy and more.
Johnson is also chairman and CEO of the Magic Johnson Foundation which was created to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS through awareness, prevention and education.
Timeline: 1974 - Outstanding high school basketball player, has 36 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists in one game in his sophomore year, earning himself the nickname "Magic" by sportswriter Fred Stabley, Jr., with the Lansing State Journal.
1975-1977 - Is named to the All-State team and leads his team to a state championship. He's a nationally sought after commodity by college basketball programs and chooses Michigan State University in East Lansing.
1978 - The Michigan State Spartans win the Big Ten Championship.
March 26, 1979 - MSU wins its first NCAA Championship. The Spartans defeat Larry Bird and Indiana State University Sycamores, 75-64. Johnson is named MVP.
1979 - Leaves Michigan State to turn pro. He is the NBA first overall draft pick and is selected by the Los Angeles Lakers.
1980 - At 20 years old, Johnson is the youngest and the first rookie named Finals MVP. The Lakers win 4-2 over the Philadelphia 76ers.
1982 - Is named Finals MVP after a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
1986 - The first annual Midsummer Night's Magic All-Star charity basketball game is held at UCLA. Players include Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan.
1987 - Is named Finals MVP for a 4-2 win over Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. He is also named League MVP.
- MJ Enterprises is founded. Johnson is chairman and CEO.
1988 - Johnson's fifth NBA championship is the Lakers second championship win in two years, a 4-3 win over the Detroit Pistons.
November 7, 1991 - In a nationally televised press conference Johnson announces he is HIV positive and is retiring from the Lakers effective immediately.
November 1991 - Establishes the Magic Johnson Foundation which "works to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities."
February 9, 1992 - Voted to the NBA All-Star game for the Western Conference by fans even though he had not played in a game that season. Is named MVP, with 25 points, three three-pointers, nine assists and five rebounds; the West beats the East 153-113.
February 16, 1992 - The Lakers officially retire his number 32 jersey.
August 8, 1992 - The U.S. Olympic basketball "Dream Team," the first U.S. Olympic team to include NBA players, wins the gold medal, beating Croatia 117-85 in the final game.
September 29, 1992 - Announces he will come out of retirement and play in the 1992-1993 season for the Lakers.
November 2, 1992 - Announces he is again retiring from basketball, due to the many NBA players voicing concern over possible health risks associated with such a high contact sport and Magic's HIV status.
November 3, 1992 - He autobiography, "My Life" is published.
March 23, 1993-April 24, 1994 - Head coach of the Lakers.
June 27, 1994 - Becomes 5% owner and vice president of the Lakers.
January 30, 1996 - Returns to NBA regular-season games for the Lakers. In his first game, the Lakers defeat the Golden State Warriors 128-118. NBA rules prohibit players from owning a team. Prior to his return, Johnson sells his interest in the team.
May 14, 1996 - Third, and final, NBA retirement, "I am going out on my terms..."
September 27, 2002 - Is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Larry Bird introduces him.
November 4, 2009 - "When the Game Was Ours", a book co-authored by Johnson and Larry Bird, is released.
March 2012 - Along with the Guggenheim Partners, Johnson wins a bidding war to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion.
April 11-May 12, 2012 - The play "Magic/Bird," the story of the rivalry and friendship of Johnson and Bird, is performed on Broadway.
June 2012 - Launches a new cable television network, Aspire.
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