The company, which started Ebony and Jet magazine, filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The petition, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, says they have between 200 and 999 creditors, as well as between $10 million and $50 million in both assets and liabilities.
RELATED: Chicago's Johnson Publishing sells Ebony, Jet magazines
The company is seeking to liquidate after failing to find new sources of funding, the court filing said.
The once-iconic publishing company was, at one time, the most recognizable African American-owned brand in the country.
The company was started in Chicago in 1942 and sold its headquarters on Michigan Avenue in 2010.
In June 2016, the company sold Ebony and Jet magazines to a private equity firm in Texas.
Johnson Publishing still owns Fashion Fair cosmetics.