July 19, 2024
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Magic Johnson declared a billionaire by Forbes

Former basketball star Magic Johnson has been declared a billionaire by Forbes, making him only the fourth athlete to join the exclusive club.

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.

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.”

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