In 2009, Forbes estimated the former Laker’s net worth at $500 million. Johnson gained notoriety as a businessman when he partnered with Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in 1998 to open coffee shops in underserved urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Twelve years later, Magic Johnson Enterprises sold its 50% interest in the 100-plus coffee shops back to Starbucks for a nice profit.
A big part of Johnson’s business history is partnering with well-known brands to create job opportunities in ethnically diverse urban communities. Very early on in his business career, Johnson realized he couldn’t do it alone and with the help of some very astute partners, has built an organization every athlete who wants to go into business for themselves should aspire to. Magic finishes in a close second because of all he has done to revive neighborhoods.