Pioneering entrepreneur and publisher John H. Johnson (who died in 2005 at age 87) is commemorated on this year's Black Heritage Forever Stamp by the United States Postal Service.
Johnson, the founder of Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines, is the 35th honoree in the Black Heritage stamp series.
The Postal Service has recognized the achievements of prominent African Americans through the Black Heritage series since 1978. Past honorees have included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Madam C.J. Walker, Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes and Barbara Jordan.
The stamp went on sale Tuesday at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724.
Here's what the U.S.P.S. had to say about Johnson's Legacy:
"From poverty to the pinnacle of American society, Johnson's journey was extraordinary. He was born in Arkansas City (Desha County), where schools were segregated and there were no high schools for black students. By the time of his death, he commanded a business empire encompassing magazines, cosmetics, radio stations, book publishing and more. In 1982, he became the first black person to appear on Forbes magazine's annual list of the 400 wealthiest people in America.
'Johnson was the trailblazing publisher of Negro Digest, Ebony, Jet, and other magazines that
showcased African American accomplishments at a time when such affirmation was rare in mainstream media. In 1946, the year after it was founded, Ebony landed its first national advertising account. Selling advertising space to white-owned corporations and persuading them to use black models in their ads were major breakthroughs.
'In recognition of his achievements, Johnson received many prizes and honors, including the NAACP's prestigious Spingarn Medal in 1966 and being named publisher of the year by industry peers in 1972.
'President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and a panel of experts
polled by Baylor University in 2003 named Johnson the greatest minority entrepreneur in American
Customers may view the John H. Johnson Forever Stamp, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview.