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John H. Johnson Immortalized on New Stamp

WI Web Staff Report | 7/24/2011, 3:27 p.m.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is paying homage to the late entrepreneur John H. Johnson...
The John H. Johnson stamp will be available nationwide beginning in 2012.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is paying homage to the late entrepreneur John H. Johnson , founder of the Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), which publishes EBONY and JET magazines. Johnson, who died in 2005, also owned Fashion Fair Cosmetics. He will be featured on a 2012 Forever Stamp as part of the postal service's Black Heritage stamp seriea

While the the stamp will not be available nationwide until next year, a preview can be seen at www.beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview, at facebook.com/USPSStamps and on Twitter at @USPSstamps. The stamp will also be available to view at johnsonpublishing.com, ebony.com, and jetmag.com.

Johnson's daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, JPC chairman, said in a statement that she pleased that her father was chosen for the honorarium.

"I am pleased that the U.S. Postal Service has chosen to recognize the extraordinary and revolutionary work my father did in giving a voice and a platform to black Americans in a time when so few sources recognized our achievements," Rice said. "We are committed to carrying on his legacy and to continue producing products that portray the best of black America and represent the community with the same level of pride and authenticity."

Stephen Kearney, USPS stamp services manager, said the postal service was proud to immortalize Johnson as the latest inductee in the Black Heritage series.

"He became the first African American listed by Forbes magazine in 1982 as one of the 400 wealthiest people in America," said Kearney. "Johnson overcame poverty and racism to build a business empire embracing magazines, radio stations, cosmetics, and more," he continued. "His magazines portrayed black people positively at a time when such representation was rare, and played an important role in the civil rights movement."

The Black Heritage series has existed since 1978 and honors African Americans whose contributions to the Civil Rights Movement as well as to politics, business, art, and culture have had a substantial and lasting impact on both the black community and American culture. Past honorees include Harriet Tubman; Martin Luther King; W.E.B. Du Bois; Langston Hughes; and Thurgood Marshall.