After opening up to the public in 1991 about his infection, Magic Johnson may be most famous for his project in public awareness to help combat HIV. But there was another disability Johnson struggled with in his youth — dyslexia.
In school, Johnson struggled with reading but took classes in the summer to catch up. His classmates gave him a hard time because of his struggle.
"The looks, the stares, the giggles...I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read," he said.
Johnson was also told by a school security guard that he would "never amount to anything," and he used these instances as motivation to become successful in life.
Johnson attended Michigan State University to play basketball, winning an NCAA Championship in 1979, and was eventually drafted as the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in that year’s NBA Draft. He won five NBA Championships with the Lakers and was a part of the 1992 gold medal-winning USA Olympic team.
Today, Johnson is a spokesperson for the Magic Johnson Foundation — which is a charity to help combat HIV — and a motivational speaker in schools. Even to this day, Johnson struggles with his dyslexia, but he doesn’t let that affect his life.