Magic Johnson Declared A Billionaire By Forbes Magazine.

File photo. Magic Johnson retired from basketball in 1991, but his magic touch was transferred to the investments that have made him a billionaire.
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Former basketball star Magic Johnson has been declared a billionaire by Forbes, his investments having made him only the  fourth professional athlete to reach that level of wealth.

The business magazine estimates Johnson’s wealth at about $1.2bn (£990m).

The other athlete billionaires are NBA players Michael Jordan and Lebron James, and the golfer Tiger Woods.

Johnson has investments in numerous companies including ownership stakes in various sports teams.

But Forbes says his stake in a life insurance company holds most of his wealth.

The 64-year-old had one of the most iconic careers in NBA history before retiring in 1996, but it was outside of sport where he made most of his money.

Forbes states that Johnson made $40m from his NBA career which ended abruptly when he was diagnosed with HIV. Johnson  returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award.
After protests against his return from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but he returned yet again in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
Johnson’s HIV announcement became a major news story in the United States, and in 2004 was named as ESPN’s seventh-most memorable moment of the previous 25 years. Many articles praised Johnson as a hero, and the then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush said, “For me, Magic is a hero, a hero for anyone who loves sports.”


Johnson has ownership stakes in three Los Angeles-based sports teams, including MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers.

Outside of sport he has investments in Starbucks, Burger King, 24 Hour Fitness and the life insurance company EquiTrust.

Johnson says he could have become a billionaire sooner had he not turned down shares in Nike when he was entering the NBA in the 1970s. He took a deal with Converse, which offered him $100,000 a year, instead.

“My family didn’t come from money, that’s one thing that hurt us sometimes. When you don’t come from money, you don’t know. I didn’t even know what stocks [were] at that time,” Johnson said on the All The Smoke podcast earlier this year.

“So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5 billion that stock would have been worth today.”

Source: BBC.
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