Magic Johnson Becomes Fourth Billionaire Athlete

Magic Johnson

The Basketball Hall of Famer joins an exclusive list of Black entrepreneurs.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson became a household name as a member of the “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers teams of the 1980s/early 1990s. The former Michigan State University player also built a financial empire.

According to Forbes, Magic Johnson has reached billionaire status. The 106-year-old business publication listed the 5-time NBA champion as just the fourth professional athlete to attain a $1 billion net worth.

Johnson ($1.2 billion) joined fellow NBA legends Michael Jordan ($3 billion) and LeBron James ($1 billion) as well as golfer Tiger Woods ($1.1 billion) on the current list of billionaire sports figures.

Earlier this year, Magic Johnson partnered with billionaire Josh Harris and others to purchase the NFL’s Washington Commanders franchise. He also owns stakes in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers and the MLS’ LAFC.

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“There’s no higher sports league than the NFL, and it’s been hard for us to get into the league,” Johnson said about African Americans acquiring NFL ownership. He added, “It’s important because now all African-Americans and minorities in this country feel like they’re owners of this team, too.” 

In addition, Magic Johnson launched movie theaters across the United States. His portfolio also includes a 50/50 venture with Starbucks and a 60% stake in Iowa-based life insurance company EquiTrust.

In February, Forbes named Aliko Dangote as the richest Black person in the world. The Nigerian businessman is said to be worth around $10.5 billion. The net worth of American Robert F. Smith presently sits at $9.2 billion.

Black entertainment heavyweights like Oprah Winfrey ($2.8 billion), Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter ($2.5 billion), Rihanna ($1.4 billion) and Tyler Perry ($1 billion) also made it into the billionaire club. As of press time, SpaceX founder/X owner Elon Musk ($221.9 billion) holds the distinction of being the world’s richest person.