The U.S Postal Service’s black heritage stamp this year honors publisher John H. Johnson, who created Ebony and Jet magazines.
A ceremony is planned Tuesday in Johnson’s hometown of Arkansas City, Ark., where he lived until moving to Chicago with his family at age 15.He founded Johnson Publishing Co. with a $500 loan, using his mother’s furniture as collateral. At the time, he was working as a clerk at a black-owned life insurance company.
Johnson created Ebony in 1945 with a press run of 25,000 copies. At the time of his death in 2005, at age 87, its circulation topped 1.6 million. He founded Jet in 1951.
The stamp, featuring a photo of Johnson shot by photographer David McCann, goes on sale Tuesday. Past honorees include U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, singer Ella Fitzgerald, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet Langston Hughes and baseball player Jackie Robinson.
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