John H. Johnson Biography
Birthday: January 19, 1918 (Capricorn)
Born In: Arkansas City, Arkansas, United States
John Harold Johnson was an African-American businessman and publisher, who founded the Johnson Publishing Company. Losing his father at the age of six, he was brought up by his mother and his stepfather, first in Arkansas City and then in Chicago. Having to struggle from an early childhood, he promised himself that he would one day become successful in life. True to his word, he launched ‘Negro Digest’—a popular African-American magazine—at the age of 24, without the advantage of any bank loan or advertisement. Using a marketing technique that nobody had thought of before, he earned enough to be able to launch his second publication ‘Ebony’ within three years. Thereafter, he launched ‘Jet’, slowly diverting into cosmetics, radio stations, book publishing and television production. While building his empire, he also created a generation of photographers, advertisers, marketers, and circulation specialists from the African-American community, bringing out their hidden potential. By 1982, he was wealthy enough to become the first African-American to appear on the Forbes 400 list.