What Was Jerry Buss’s Total Wealth at the Time of His Death?
Dr. Jerry Buss, an American businessman, and owner of a professional sports franchise died in 2013 with a fortune estimated at $600 million. In the real estate business, Jerry Buss made his initial fortune. As the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, he amassed an even greater fortune (and notoriety). At one point, he owned three professional sports teams in addition to his WNBA franchise (soccer).
As a child
His mother was a single mother living in Kemmerer, Wyoming, during the Great Depression. Jerry Buss was born in Salt Lake City and raised there. As a small youngster, he recalls standing in a bread line for meals.
Jerry was able to attend the University of Wyoming on a full scholarship thanks to his dedication and quick study habits. Jerry graduated from the University of Southern California with both an MS and a Ph.D. in chemistry by the time he was 24 years old.
Investments in Real Estate
Later, he worked in the chemical sector before returning to USC to teach in the department’s chemistry. Jerry began investing in Los Angeles real estate while still employed at USC in order to supplement his teacher’s salary.
Soon, Jerry’s side company was bringing in so much money that he had to give up teaching and focus only on real estate investing. Jerry Buss would eventually become a very rich guy.
The LA Lakers
As early as 1979, Jerry had amassed sufficient wealth to acquire the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sacramento Kings, and the Forum sports venue. He paid a total of $67.5 million for all three (of which only $16 million went to the Los Angeles Lakers). In today’s dollars, that’s around $213 million. It was the largest-ever purchase of a sports team at the time.
Jerry led the Lakers to their first NBA title in less than a year. Los Angeles was worth $1 billion when Magic Johnson died in 2013. Theirs was one of the first billion-dollar valuations for a professional sports organization.
The Lakers are now one of the most valuable sports clubs in the world, with a value in excess of $5.5 billion. This is quite astounding.
My Own Story
In addition to being a brilliant poker player, Buss was also a professional competitor. After a protracted fight with cancer, Dr. Jerry Buss passed away on February 18th, 2013, in a Los Angeles hospital. Six children survive him, all of them are heavily involved in the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
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