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Cancer Takes Two Great Ones

By Sam Bakken in News on Aug 8, 2005 11:29PM

Cancer is a total dick. It didn't allow the media even one day to grieve one family member's death before killing another member. It took Peter Jennings yesterday, and today it took John H. Johnson, publisher of EBONY and JET magazines. There's plenty of news about ole P.J. so we're going to stick to Johnson.

8_2005_johnson.jpgJohnson was born in Arkansas in 1918, but moved to Chicago in the 1930s. If you didn't know, Johnson is perhaps best known for waging war against the stereotypes habitually employed by the media in their coverage of blacks. Johnson also persuaded many advertisers to reach out to the black population, showing them they were missing out on a key market.

He founded Johnson Publishing Company, headquartered in Chicago, in 1942 with a $500 loan, using his mother's furniture as collateral. The first magazine he published was "Negro Digest", and he launched EBONY just after World War II.