On November 7, 1991, basketball icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson stunned the world with the news that he was HIV-positive. For the millions who watched, his announcement became a pivotal moment not only for the nation, but for his family and wife. Twenty-five years later, Cookie Johnson shares her story and the emotional journey that started on that day—from life as a pregnant and joyous newlywed to one filled with the fear that her husband would die, that she and her baby would be infected with the virus, and that their family would be shunned. Believing in Magic is the story of Cookie’s marriage to Earvin—nearly four decades of loving each other, losing their way, and eventually finding a path they never imagined.
Never before has Cookie shared her full account of the reasons she stayed and her life with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Believing in Magic is her very personal story of survival and triumph as a wife, mother, and faith-filled woman.
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About the Author
Cookie Johnson is a devoted philanthropist and, as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Magic Johnson Foundation, a passionate spokesperson whose focus is on addressing the health, social, and educational needs of underserved communities. She joins her husband, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in the fight against HIV/AIDS by spreading the word on ways to help reduce new HIV infections in underserved communities, educating minority women about the disease, and providing helpful tools for prevention and testing. The Michigan State University graduate lives with her husband in California; she is the mother to their three children, André, Earvin Johnson III (EJ), and Elisa. She is the author of Believing in Magic.
Denene Millner is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist who has written more than twenty-five books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, cowritten with Steve Harvey, among others. She has written for a plethora of national publications, including Essence, Women’s Health, Ebony, Redbook, and more. The founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, a website dedicated to Black parenting, lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Meeting Magic 7
Chapter 2 Courting Earvin 25
Chapter 3 An Uneasy Alliance 43
Chapter 4 The Runaway Groom 61
Chapter 5 Saying "I Do" 85
Chapter 6 Standing by My Man 109
Chapter 7 A New Season 135
Chapter 8 EJ's Freedom 157
Chapter 9 All in the Family: Adopting Elisa 179
Chapter 10 The Truth about Basketball Wives 209
Chapter 11 In This Life Together 229
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
She answered questions that many people wondered about.
For the first time Cookie Johnson shares her long awaited memoir: "Believing in Magic: Overcoming Adversity, and Keeping the Faith" of her 12 year courtship, 25 year marriage, and remarkable life with celebrity NBA retired athlete Earvin "Magic" Johnson. In 1991, Magic informed his fans and shocked the public world wide with the announcement he was HIV positive. At the time this seemed like a death sentence, with much stigma and misinformation, less was known at the time about HIV. The couple had only been married for about 6 weeks, and Cookie was determined to remain true to her faith in God, and by her new husband's side. An ambitious and determined Detroit high school student, Cookie wasn't going to let her mother's limited income, or a discouraging boyfriend stand in her way of attaining a college education. It was at Michigan State University, in the late 1970's that Cookie caught the eye of the popular basketball player. Aware of his fame (especially with the ladies) Cookie maintained her independence and graduated with a degree in Fashion Design in 1981. Despite his serious relationships with other women, he kept tabs on her and appeared mysteriously when she began relationships with other suitors, which never went to a serious level. Their relationship had several ups and downs before Cookie would understand Earvin enough to marry, and support him as he battled the virus. HIV education was a top priority for the newly formed Magic Johnson Foundation. The AZT treatments exhausted him, as the couple prepared to welcome their new son, both Cookie and their baby were HIV negative. Cookie also shared behind the scenes of celebrity, the tight knit support of the other NBA wives and how they survive their unique challenges. Other family matters concern her son E.J who wasn't at all athletic, and as a small child/youth preferred playing with dolls and dressing up as a girl. The couple adopted their newborn daughter Elissa, all their children were encouraged to develop at their own speed and have their own interests. In this inspirational read, Cookie writes briefly abut her spirituality without preaching or commenting on religious practice. Great family photos included. ~ With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.
I aspire to be the Woman Cookie is. To just let Love be the guiding force to overcome such pain.
Always loved Magic and I fell in love with Cookie