John Johnson was the first African-American to appear on the Forbes 400 list, having amassed immense wealth from his successful magazine, EBONY.
Johnson succeeded as an African-American entrepreneur during the 1940’s, thus his story is worth sharing and most remarkable. Johnson came from a very poor family but his leadership skills were exemplified early on, becoming high school student president and the editor of his high school newspaper.
Worth noting is that Johnson would go to class during the day and then read self improvement books at night. Johnson’s passion for continued knowledge helped him to eventually become accepted into the University of Chicago. He also found a mentor in Harry Pace, president of a life insurance company, and worked as his assistant. This job gave Johnson the opportunity to pay his student loans, but a larger opportunity would reveal itself shortly.
The most important aspect of Johnson’s job working for Pace was that he would put together a monthly collection of important news articles, akin to Reader’s Digest, which Pace would read at leisure.
Similar to Marcos Galperin and Mecado Libre, Johnson had the idea to apply a proven business model to an untapped market.
Johnson created his first [Read more...]