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Jet and Ebony Magazine Founder John H. Johnson Pledged Alpha Phi Alpha in 1938

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Did you know that media tycoon John H. Johnson was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha? In 1938 Johnson crossed into the Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

John Harold Johnson was an African American business owner and content publisher. Johnson Publishing Company was one of the most successful Black-owned media companies of it’s day. Johnson Publishing owned two popular African American magazines that carried the brand. The magazines were; Jet Magazine founded in 1951, and Ebony Magazine founded in 1945.

Johnson launched his first publication the Negro Digest in Chicago after learning the trade as an office boy at Supreme Life. He wanted to create a publication that mirrored traditional layouts but focused on positive Black stories. His first attempt at this resulted in the Negro Digest (1942). The Negro Digest was the precursor to what would become Ebony Magazine.

Johnson was the first African American listed on the Forbes 400. In additon, he bought three radio stations, started a television production company, and served on the board of many major companies.

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