John H. Johnson
Johnson Publishing Company. Inc.
John H. Johnson is best known as a publisher, businessman and humanitarian. Mr. Johnson began his publishing career in November 1942 as editor and publisher of Negro Digest, later Black World. The company, founded by Mr. Johnson, publishes EBONY, the No. 1 African American magazine in the world every consecutive year since its founding in 1945, and JET, the world’s No. 1 African-American newsweekly magazine, founded in 1951.
Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. has been the world’s largest Black-owned publishing company in the world for 60 years. Johnson Publishing Company also publishes books exclusively by black authors, owns Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the largest black-owned cosmetics company in the world, and produces television specials. Mr. Johnson became chairman and CEO of Supreme Life Insurance Company, where he began his career as an office boy.
Mr. Johnson accompanied Vice President Richard M. Nixon on a special goodwill tour to nine African countries, Russia and Poland. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as Special U. S. Ambassador to the Independence Ceremonies of the Ivory Coast. He was later appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Special U. S. Ambassador to the Independence Ceremonies of Kenya.
His board memberships included Dillard Department Stores, Inc. VIAD CORP., Bell & Howell; Chrysler Corporation; Conrail; Continental Bank; Arthur D. Little; Supreme Life Insurance Company; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Zenith Electronics Corporation. His philanthropic and civic contributions included being a trustee for The Art Institute of Chicago and United Negro College Fund; a member of the Advisory Council, Harvard Graduate School of Business; director of the National Conference of Christians & Jews; and a member of the Industries Advisory Committee-The Advertising Council, Inc.
He and his wife, Eunice, who is producer-director of the EBONY Fashion Fair and secretary-treasurer of Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. have one child, Linda Johnson Rice, who is president and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. Mr. Johnson graduated with honors from DuSable High School and attended the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. He held numerous honorary degrees and was the recipient of scores of awards and honors.