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Bob Johnson Live!

National Tech

Robert L. Johnson is arguably the most successful African-American businessman in American history. And he started it all in DC. That's why we're thrilled Bob will open our 5th Annual DC State of the Market summit on May 7 at the Marriott Wardman Park.


After a public policy degree from Princeton, Bob started in public affairs at the CPB and National Cable and Television Association. He quickly realized the potential of cable TV, and in 1980 launched Black Entertainment Television. It grew rapidly and in 2000 he sold it to Viacom for $3B. He owned 42% and became the first-ever African-American billionaire.


Bob set up the RLJ Companies and today has major interests in private equity, financial services, and sports. He bought the Charlotte Bobcats (named for Bob!) in '02, made Michael Jordan president, and sold a majority stake to MJ in 2010. And he's a major player in commercial real estate via the RLJ Lodging Trust, which owns 140 hotels throughout the US. It's based in Bethesda. We're excited about having him and hope you'll join us for Bisnow's star-studded annual State of the Market. (More info and signup.)