Jerry Buss: “I Love Winning”!
Los Angeles Laker’s owner Jerry Buss has died, his assistant Bob Steiner reported. The 80 year old playboy died on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. He was 80.
LA Lakers Owner - Jerry Buss - Photo credit: AP
He’d been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure according to Steiner.
A self-made millionaire who built his fortune in real estate, Buss bought the Lakers in 1979. He charted his successful course with marquee players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Hall of Fame coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson and celebrities sitting court side.
“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” Buss said. “I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.”
Buss had a remarkable career and tons of wins…despite his humble up bringing.
“Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “Remember, he showed us it was about ‘Showtime,’ the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen.”
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.
Jerry Buss is survived by his 5 children.