Sheila Crump Johnson is a successful American entrepreneur, television and film producer.  Keep reading for 10 Facts about this trailblazer and African American business leader.

10 Facts About Shelia Crump Johnson

1.  Ms. Johnson was born on January 25, 1949 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. 

2.  Her father, a neurosurgeon who worked for the Veterans Administration, and her mother, an accountant, were both accomplished pianists who passed a love for music on to their daughter – Shelia – who is also a talented violinist.

3.  She was the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) along with her ex-husband. 

In an interview, Ms. Johnson said she herself is “ashamed” of what the BET has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news… I had a show called Teen Summit, we had a large variety of programming, but the problem is that then the video revolution started up… And then something started happening, and I didn’t like it at all. And I remember during those days we would sit up and watch these videos and decide which ones were going on and which ones were not. We got a lot of backlash from recording artists…and we had to start showing them. I didn’t like the way women were being portrayed in these videos.”   Grove, Lloyd (2010-04-29). “Sheila Johnson Slams BET”. The Daily Beast.

4.  Ms. Johnson is the mother of two children and is remarried to Arlington County Circuit Court Chief Judge William T. Newman.

5.  She is the first African American woman to be an owner or partner in three professional sports franchises, the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA), and the Washington Mystics (WNBA).

6.  Ms. Johnson is currently the CEO of Salamander Hospitality, a company she founded in 2005.   Salamander's portfolio includes: Reunion Resort located in Reunion, Florida;  The  Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, a 900-acre (3.6 km2), 72 hole PGA golf course in Palm Harbor, FL; and The Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA.

7.  She serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design and   funded the opening of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, combining classrooms, public program spaces and galleries.

8.  Ms. Johnson's first film, Kicking It, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival  in Park City, UT.

9.  She served as sole executive producer on her second film, A Powerful Noise, which premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

10.  Ms. Johnson is a Global Ambassador for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

To learn more about Ms. Shelia Crump Johnson, visit

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