Gerald Hatten Buss (1933 - 2013) MP

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Nicknames: "Dr. Jerry Buss"
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of death: kidney failure, cancer
Occupation: Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gerald Hatten Buss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerald Hatten "Jerry" Buss (January 27, 1933 – February 18, 2013) was an American businessman, real estate investor and chemist. He was the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning 10 league championships that were highlighted by the team's Showtime era during the 1980s. Buss also owned other professional sports franchises in Southern California. Announced as a member of the 2010 induction class of the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 5, 2010, he was formally enshrined as a contributor to the sport on August 13 of that same year.[1]

Born in Salt Lake City and raised in Kemmerer, Wyoming, Buss was raised by his divorced mother, Jessie. Buss earned a scholarship to the University of Wyoming, graduating with a B.S. degree in two and a half years in 1955. He moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry by age 24.[3] Buss started as a chemist for the Bureau of Mines (now the Mine Safety and Health Administration); he then briefly worked in the aerospace industry and was on the faculty of USC's chemistry department. He originally went into real estate investing in order to provide an income so he could continue teaching. His first investment in the 1960s was $1,000 in a West Los Angeles apartment building. Finding great success in the real estate business, he pursued real estate investing full time. In 1979 Jerry purchased Pickfair Mansion in Beverly Hills from the estate of Mary Pickford.[3] He was also the co-owner of a real estate investment company called Mariani-Buss Associates with his long-time business partner Frank Mariani. Sports ownership

Buss became an owner in World Team Tennis, the Los Angeles Strings. He purchased the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA along with the Los Angeles Kings hockey team of the NHL, The Forum, and a large ranch from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979. The purchase price, $67.5 million, made it the largest transaction in sports history at that time. Buss later sold the Kings, retaining ownership of the Lakers and The Forum. He then reached a major advertising agreement with Great Western Bank for the naming rights to The Forum, resulting in the official name of the building being changed to the Great Western Forum.

Later, when the WNBA was formed, Buss took charge of operating that league's Los Angeles franchise, the Los Angeles Sparks. Eventually, all three teams moved into a more modern arena in downtown Los Angeles, the Staples Center, which opened in 1999. As part of the deal to move the Lakers into Staples Center, Buss sold the Great Western Forum (which was later reverted to its original name).

The Lakers were very successful under Buss' ownership, winning ten NBA championships with such players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. He inspired the Lakers' Showtime era with his vision that basketball games must be entertaining. The Sparks also experienced their share of success, winning two WNBA championships with such players as Lisa Leslie, Tamecka Dixon and DeLisha Milton-Jones.

In 2002, when the WNBA was restructured to give its teams individual owners, Buss took ownership of the Sparks. He sold the team in 2006. Buss also owned the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League. The Lazers also played in The Forum. The team folded in 1989 and the league folded three years later.

Buss was a high-stakes cash game poker player for many years, but later in life was more active in tournament games. His best finishes included third in the 1991 World Series of Poker seven-card stud event and second place in the 2003 World Poker Tour Freeroll invitational. He has appeared in the GSN series High Stakes Poker and the NBC late-night series Poker After Dark.

In January 2008, Buss donated $7.5 million to USC's Department of Chemistry to fund two endowed chairs and an endowed scholarship fund for chemistry graduate students; the two chairs were to be named after his mentors at USC, professors Sidney Benson and David Dows. Buss was an inaugural member of the USC College Board of Councilors.

On May 29, 2007, Buss was issued a citation for driving under the influence after two California Highway Patrol officers saw him driving his gold Mercedes-Benz on the wrong side of the road in the coastal community of Carlsbad in northern San Diego County, with a 23-year-old woman passenger. After failing a field sobriety test, Buss was taken into custody, given a blood test and booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level over 0.08.

In 2012, Buss was in a hospital for months with an undisclosed intestinal problem. Through his 80th birthday on January 27, 2013, he had not attended a Lakers game during the 2012–13 season due to health concerns.[7] On February 14, 2013, it was revealed that Buss had been battling cancer since 2012.

After being hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with an undisclosed form of cancer, he died of kidney failure at 5:55 a.m. on February 18, 2013, aged 80.

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Dr. Jerry Buss's Timeline

January 27, 1933
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
Age 27
March 19, 1963
Age 30
February 18, 2013
Age 80
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA