Beverly Johnson, 2014 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipient

Beverly JohnsonBeverly Johnson is a Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of BJE LLC. She is the first African-American supermodel. Her stunning features and superstardom landed her on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974, making world history as the first African-American model to ever grace the acclaimed magazine’s cover, and forever changing the beauty ideal in the fashion world.
Beverly’s remarkable career, which spans four decades, is a showcase of accomplishment: from model to mom to actress, author, activist, businesswoman, TV personality, and — finally — icon.

As a model in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000’s, Beverly appeared on more than 500 magazine covers from Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan to Essence, Ebony and French Elle. She has thousands of editorial pages, and hundreds of advertising campaigns to her credit. Her success during the 70s and 80s transcended race, as Beverly became a household name. She signed with the Ford Modeling agency and was one of the highest paid models in the industry in a very short period of time. Her work wasn’t limited to print; Beverly also worked the runway for such designers as Yves St. Laurent, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Halston.

Throughout her career, Beverly has been active in charity work and speaking out about health issues. In the 1980s Beverly worked as an AIDS activist and continues to support health issues affecting gay men. During the Clinton era, Beverly was appointed the Ambassador of Goodwill to the Fashion Industry to help with the elimination of sweatshops. In 2008 she became the national spokesperson for Ask4Tell4, a campaign that seeks to educate women about the options available to treat uterine fibroids, a painful condition that affected Beverly’s life for more than 10 years. Currently, Beverly is a national spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

In addition to her numerous ongoing projects, 2012 was a very busy year for Beverly. She appeared in Tyler Perry’s movie “Good Deeds.” And last year, Beverly launched her reality show, “Beverly’s Full House,” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The New York Times named her as one of the “20th Century’s 100 Most Influential People in the Fashion Industry.” She was featured on the cover of Glamour magazine’s 50th Anniversary issue, the venerable publication that gave Beverly her first break in the 1970s. Beverly signed with Simon & Schuster to publish her memoir, which is to be published in early 2015. Also, Beverly has penned two books, “Beverly Johnson’s Guide to a Life of Health and Beauty” and “True Beauty: Secrets of Radiant Beauty for Women of Every Age and Color.”

An avid golfer, Beverly plays to a 10 handicap and can be found nearly every day on the golf course. She lives in Rancho Mirage, California, with her two collies Flame and Hollywood.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is proud to announce Beverly Johnson as the 2014 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipient.