Black History

Out of the 2,043 people who appear on the 2017 Forbes list of billionaires, only three are African-American: Oprah Winfrey, Robert Smith and Michael Jordan. But before any of them appeared on the list, Robert L. Johnson, 75, became the first African-American billionaire in 2001 thanks to the sale of his cable station Black Entertainment Television (BET), Forbes reports.

Today, Johnson is the owner and chairman of asset management firm RLJ companies, which he founded in 2004. He also sits on the board of many prominent organizations including Lowe’s Co. and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.