Johnson Publishing Company

200 S Michigan Ave #2000 Chicago

City of Writers/Johnson Publishing Company
American Writers Museum
Written By American Writers Museum

The American Writers Museum celebrates American writers through innovative, state-of-the-art exhibitions and compelling programming.

​John H. Johnson launched his publishing empire with The Negro Digest (later called Black World), working from a backroom at the Parkway Community House. Ebony (1945), Jet (1951), and other titles aimed at African-American audiences would make Johnson Publishing one of the most successful black-owned companies in the country.

​Founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson, Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. was an American publishing company headquartered at 200 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. The headquarters used to be located at 820 S. Michigan Ave, but, after 39 years there, the company sold that property to what is now Columbia College Chicago. That building, which was completed in 1972, was the first African-American owned building in downtown Chicago. Ebony was its flagship publication that helped Johnson Publishing become the largest African-American owned publishing firm in the United States. The company also published Jet, a weekly magazine geared towards African-American audiences, which ran from November of 1951 until June 2014.

Now the company also operates as a book division which publishes a variety of books, from The New Ebony Cookbook ​to more thought-provoking titles such as "Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream." Since 1958, Johnson Publishing hosts a traveling fashion show called Ebony Fashion Fair, which raises money for scholarships and charities across America and in Canada as well. The company produces a line of hair care products, Supreme Beauty, as well as Fashion Fair cosmetics, marketed for African-American women. Today, Johnson Publishing Company is privately held by the founder's daughter, Linda Johnson Rice.

City of Writers

Johnson Publishing Company

Cookie image

We use cookies on this website. You are free to manage these via your browser settings at any time. For more information about how we use cookies, please see our Privacy Policy.