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Ernie Johnson and His Wife Had Two Kids and Then Adopted Four More

Keeping larger-than-life personalities Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley at bay is no easy task.

Ernest Thorwald Johnson Jr. and Kenny Smith are sandwiched between the Hall of Famers dishing quips back and forth Inside the NBA on TNT. It makes for great television.

Johnson has the distinction of keeping the guys on track. He's the steering wheel behind the best basketball studio show on the air.

The TNT host has been involved in the sports world for a majority of his life. His father, Ernie Johnson Sr., was a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Boston/Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves play-by-play announcer from 1962-1999. E.J. followed in his father's footsteps.

Ernie Johnson's Broadcast Career

Ernie Johnson on TNT

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(Set Number: X161915 TK1 )

He earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and worked various news anchor jobs before leaving for Turner Sports in 1989. Johnson called MLB games with his father from 1993-96.

In addition to NBA coverage, Johnson covers PGA Tour events and the NCAA Tournament on CBS Sports and TBS. He's also covered Wimbledon, the MLB playoffs, and worked in several capacities for the Olympics.  He previously hosted Tuesday Fan Night on NBA TV

The sports broadcaster is a four-time Sports Emmy Award winner for Best Studio Host. He gave the 2015 award to the daughters of late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott.

Ernie is the leader of the Studio J team. The team most important to him, however, is the one at home.

Ernie Johnson's Wife Cheryl Johnson

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As for his personal life, the sportscaster married his wife Cheryl in 1982. Cheryl is a licensed professional counselor in Braselton, Georgia. She serves as the brand ambassador for Street Grace, a non-profit that that utilizes evidence-based demand reduction strategies to eradicate the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). Ernie is also a member of FACE, Fathers Against Child Exploitation, a group that hopes to end child sex trafficking.

Together, Cheryl and Ernie have two biological children and four adopted children. Son Eric and daughter Maggie are biological while their son Michael was adopted from a Romanian orphanage, daughter Carmen was adopted from Paraguay, and daughters Ashley and Allison were adopted domestically through foster care.

Born in Romania, Michael Johnson had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, before his passing in October of 2021. Johnson details bringing Michael home in his 2017 memoir Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary.

The Johnson family was right behind Ernie when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003. He worked until starting treatment in 2006. That year, he missed the network's coverage of the British Open and PGA championship. He returned to his regular duties on Halloween.

E.J. is the glue guy of Shaq, Kenny, and Chuck. His team at home is what matters most.

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