Who is Cookie Johnson?
American businesswoman, author and philanthropist Earlitha ‘Cookie’ Johnson (nee Kelly) was born in Huntsville, Alabama USA, on 20 January 1959, making Aquarius her zodiac sign. She’s probably known best for being the wife of American retired professional basketball player Magic Johnson.
Education and early life
Cookie was raised alongside her older sister Pat and younger brother Harold Earl in Huntsville, by their parents Cora and Early Kelly about whom she avoids speaking in public, because she respects their privacy; her father was believed to be a businessman, and her mother a housewife. It was her mother who nicknamed her ‘Cookie’, after a character from the popular TV series “77 Sunset Strip”.
She studied at all-black Council Training School prior to moving away from Alabama with her family; they went on to move multiple times prior to settling in Detroit, Michigan.
Cookie matriculated from a local high school in Detroit in 1977, and then enrolled at Michigan State University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1981.
Cookie’s today an author, and has published a number of books about her life as Magic Johnson’s wife, while her first and most successful book was about his struggles with HIV.
She’s also a businesswoman, having launched her own clothing line CJ Denim, while she’s today the Secretary of the Board of Directors of her husband’s non-profit organization Magic Johnson Foundation.
Since her and Magic Johnson’s son came out as gay, Cookie’s been a supporter of the LGBT community.
Love life and marriage
Cookie was attending her first year of college when she met Magic Johnson at a club, and they went on their first date in 1978; she’s revealed that the date went great, and led her to falling in love with him. Even though the two were together, Magic Johnson still slept with other women, and one of them Melissa Mitchell gave birth to their son Andre Johnson in 1981. He remained involved in Andre’s upbringing, and eventually employed him at his Magic Johnson Enterprises as the marketing director.
The Bible says a wife of noble character is her husband’s crown and your strength, love, and faith has sustained our marriage. For that I am forever grateful. I look forward to over 40 more years of loving and learning each other! pic.twitter.com/XeIItGg5z0
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 14, 2022
Magic Johnson and Cookie married in a small ceremony in 1991, and she gave birth to their son Earvin Johnson III on 4 June 1992; he’s today a TV personality and socialite, and is openly gay. In 1995, the two adopted a daughter, Elisa.
Magic Johnson and Cookie are today living in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California while they also have a vacation home in Dana Point, California.
Cookie hasn’t mentioned other men whom she’s dated; she’s married to Magic Johnson as of June 2023, and they have two children together, one adopted.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Cookie was pregnant with her and Magic Johnson’s son when Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV; he was able to defeat the virus, but it’s believed that he’ll be taking medications for it for the rest of his life.
Cookie’s a philanthropist and has worked with numerous charity organizations, sometimes together with her husband; she mostly aims to help the LGBT community and underprivileged children.
She’s an animal lover and has several pets.
Cookie and her husband have vacationed all around the world, while Paris, France is her favorite city.
She’s a fan of American actress Natalie Portman, and some of Cookie’s favorite movies include “Where the Heart Is”, “Brothers” and “Anywhere But Here”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Cookie’s age is 64. She has brown hair and eyes, is 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall and weighs around 190lbs (85kgs).
Cookie and Magic Johnson’s shared net worth’s been estimated at over $620 million, as of June 2023.
Who is Magic Johnson?
American former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, Michigan USA, on 14 August 1959, making Leo his zodiac sign. He spent all his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is widely rated one of the best point guards of all time; Magic retired after he contracted HIV, but returned to basketball twice. His third and final retirement was in 1996.
Magic Johnson was raised alongside his six siblings in Lansing, by their father Earvin Sr. who was an assembly worker at General Motors, and mother Christine who was a school janitor; he also has three paternal half-siblings. Magic Johnson grew up being a fan of basketball, and looked up to Bill Russell, Marques Haynes and Earl Monroe.
He studied at Everett High School but wasn’t happy with the school because the children there as well as their parents were racists; Magic Johnson stood up for himself, and other black children at the school saw him as their leader. He was 15 when he was nicknamed ‘Magic’ after scoring 36 points, 16 assists and 18 rebounds in a single game; during his final year, he led his team to win the state championship game.
Upon matriculating in 1977, Magic Johnson enrolled at Michigan State University on a basketball scholarship, while he’d also been offered scholarships by University of California, Los Angeles, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. He was initially more interested in becoming a TV commentator rather than a professional basketball player, however, this eventually changed for Magic as his performance improved, and as he led the Michigan State Spartans to a Big Ten Conference title. In the 1978-1979 season, he led the Spartans to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship Game, and they defeated the Indiana State Sycamores 75-64; Magic Johnson was named Most Outstanding Player.
He dropped out of college in 1979, thus making himself eligible for the NBA Draft.
Magic Johnson was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the first overall pick, and was named an NBA All-Star Game starter following his first year with the Lakers; they reached the 1980 NBA Finals and defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, with Magic Johnson becoming the first rookie to be named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
He missed 45 games of the 1980-1981 season because of a torn cartilage in his left knee, and then in 1981 signed a 25-year $25 million contract with the Lakers. In 1982, the Lakers faced and defeated the 76ers in the NBA Finals, while Magic was again named NBA Finals MVP; they faced the 76ers for the third time in the 1983 NBA Finals, but were this time swept by them.
The Lakers faced the Boston Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals, but lost because of a mistake that Magic Johnson had made in the final game; his teammates had to comfort him for the entire night following the loss. The Lakers faced the Celtics again in the 1985 NBA Finals, this time defeating them; they also played against each other in the 1986 NBA Finals, with the Lakers winning again, while Magic was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Lakers won against the Detroit Pistons in the 1988 NBA Finals, with James Ager Worth named NBA Finals MVP; they then lost to the Pistons in the 1989 NBA Finals, mostly because of Magic Johnson’s injury. The Lakers won the 1991 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls, and Michael Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP.
Magic Johnson was then diagnosed with HIV, and on 7 November 1991 announced that he would retire from professional basketball; he became the Lakers’ coach for the 1993-1994 season, and then tried playing for them in the 1995-1996 season, retiring after the season’s end.
He played for the Swedish Boras Basket club in 1999, and eventually became its co-owner.
Magic Johnson’s since been focused on his career as a businessman; he became the president of basketball operations for the Lakers on 21 February 2017, but resigned on 9 April 2019.
He’s a deeply religious Christian.