Fashion Feature: Eunice W. Johnson April 4, 1916- January 3, 2010

 Mrs. Johnson is escorted by former President Bill Clinton at her husband’s funeral in 2004.

Eunice W. Johnson, widow of Ebony and Jet magazines publisher died from renal heart failure at her Chicago home Sunday night.

The 93-year old fashion icon was instrumental in the success of the Johnson Publishing empire which included the Ebony Fashion Fair and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Johnson, a native of Alabama worked alongside husband John when he first introduced Ebony magazine in 1945. Mrs. Johnson quit her job to stand alongside her man as he created what would be come the voice of African-Americans in this country.

Born in Alabama to the parentage of Dr. Nathaniel D. Walker, a well-respected physician and his educator wife Ethel McAlpine Walker, Mrs. Johnson graduated from Talladega College where she majored in sociology with a minor in art and joined the Alpha Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago.

Ever stylish and graceful, Mrs. Johnson always had a passion for fashion, art and culture, and she enjoyed interior design as well. Her service as executive director of the Ebony Fashion Fair placed her among fashion’s elite and she was never to busy to lend her time or money to those in need. Mrs. Johnson supported numerous community and educational charities.

It is rare that one gets to accomplish as much as Mrs. Johnson did in her ninety-three years. Some of us can only hope to do half as much. It is with great empathy that I honor Eunice W. Johnson and the legacy she leaves behind.

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