Robert Johnson, founder of B.E.T. born
April 8, 1946
Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) born in Hickory, Mississippi. Johnson launched BET in January, 1980, the program aired two hours a week and was the first cable television network to target African Americans.
Eleven years later BET became the first African American owned company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Viacom bought BET for $3 billion in 1999 and Johnson became the first African American billionaire until his divorce when his wife was awarded a substancial amount of his fortune.
He earned another first in 2004 when he became the first African American to be a principal owner in a major league sports franchise by purchasing the Charolette Bobcats NBA team.