Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. was born on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan. His father was an assembler for General Motors and his mother Catherine worked as a school janitor. Johnson, one of six children was influenced at an early age by his parents’ strong work ethic.
His father also did janitorial work and collected garbage. Earvin Jr. was often teased for helping his father pick up garbage, he was called “Garbage Man” by the kids in the neighborhood. Magic admired the game of basketball as a child watching his favorite players like Bill Russell, Earl Monroe and Marques Haynes. He learned how to play the game from his father who played in college. By the time he reached high school, Magic was a standout player he scored 48 points in a junior high school game. He received a scholarship to Michigan State University and in 1979 won a national championship.
Later that year, Magic was selected the first pick in the National Basketball Association. He won a championship at the professional level in 1980 and was named rookie of the year. In 1981, Johnson fathered a son named Andre with Melissa Mitchell. In 1991, he contracted the HIV virus and had to retire from basketball after 12 all-star years.