How many Harlem Globetrotter honorees?

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The Harlem Globetrotters, known for their exhibition basketball, have had eight honorary members including Henry Kissinger, Pope John Paul II, and Nelson Mandela. The team’s signature moves date back to 1941 and five jersey numbers have been retired.

Formed in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters achieved international fame in the 1950s and have continued to maintain a high profile with their form of exhibition basketball. Over the years, eight people have been named honorary Globetrotters. Henry Kissinger was named the first Honorary Globetrotter in 1976. Other Honorary Globetrotters include Pope John Paul II, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Mandela, Bob Hope and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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Though not honorary members, Bill Cose Earvin “Magic” Johnson has signed lifelong contracts with the team, each for an annual fee of $1 US dollar (USD) per year. In 1986, Cos’ annual salary was increased to $1.05 USD per year.
The Globetrotters’ signature moves date back to 1941 and the hiring of Reece “Goose” Tatum. Tatum brought some offbeat comedic moves to the team that quickly caught on with the rest of the team and caused a stir among Globetrotters fans. By the end of World War II, the team had played 30,000 games.
Five jersey numbers have been retired by the Globetrotters: 50 for Goose Tatum, 36 for Meadow “Meadowlark” Lemon, 13 for Wilt Chamberlain, 20 for Marques Haynes and 22 for Fred “Curly” Neal.

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