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Leadership - Effective Leaders Have Character

Sheila Johnson

  • ,
  • female
  • African American
  • 1947 (Age: 73 years old)

Biography

In 1980, Sheila Johnson and her former husband, Robert L. Johnson, co-founded BET, the first cable television network aimed at African-American viewers. Serving as executive vice president of corporate affairs, Sheila Johnson was primarily responsible for investigating various community and philanthropic activities and helped build the highly rated cable network into a media powerhouse, which Viacom acquired in 1997 for $3 billion. Johnson was a member of BET Holdings Inc.'s board of directors until January 2001. Johnson currently is focused on various philanthropic activities, as well as the construction of the Salamander Inn and Spa on land she owns in Middleburg, Va. An accomplished violinist, Johnson has a diverse background that includes 19 years as a music educator in the Washington, D.C., area. During that time, she founded Young Strings in Action for children, in 1975. A textbook she wrote about her teaching methods, Young Strings in Action, is still used in many U.S. schools.

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