John H. Johnson was born in Arkansas City, Ark. on Janurary 19, 1918. During the Great Depression, his family moved to Chicago so Johnson could pursue a higher education to achieve his dream of becoming a journalist. In high school, Johnson became the editor of the newspaper and yearbook. He then received a scholarship to the University of Chicago when he met Harry H. Pace, a man who offered Johnson a role as assitant editor at his newspaper. Eventually, Johnson dropped out of college to work at the newspaper full-time. After several years, Johnson eventually started his own publication: Negro Digest. With the support of Chicago's largest distributor, Johnson found himself with the ability to expand his production and open up another wildly sucessful publication called Ebony Magazine.