On November 7, 1991 Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive and retired immediately. Click here for more.
It was an event that evoked the old Kennedy assassination question: where were you when you heard the news? Word that Magic Johnson had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, whipped around the country last Thursday like a palm-stinging Magic Johnson pass. The stages of grief in America now move quickly, it seems, from denial to CNN. A few hours after the first news leak, the 32-year-old superstar appeared at a televised press conference, saying, “Because of the HIV virus I have obtained, I will have to announce my retirement from the Lakers today.” He admitted having been “naive” about AIDS and added, “Here I am saying it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson.”
Newsweek November 18, 1991