Jerry Buss Net Worth, Career, Lakers, Death

Jerry Buss Net Worth, Career, Lakers, Death 2
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Jerry Buss Net Worth

Dr. Jerry Buss was an American entrepreneur and professional sports team owner who died in 2013 with a net worth of $600 million. Jerry Buss made his first million dollars in real estate. As the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, he amassed a much larger fortune (and fame). He also owned the Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), and the Los Angeles Lakers (soccer).

Jerry Buss was born in Salt Lake City and raised by a single mother in Kemmerer, Wyoming during the Great Depression. As a small child, one of his earliest memories was waiting in a bread line for food.

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Education

Jerry received a scholarship to the University of Wyoming, where he graduated in 2.5 years. Jerry had an MS and Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Southern California by the time he was 24.

Jerry Buss Net Worth, Career, Lakers, Death 3

After graduation, he worked as a chemist and briefly in the aerospace industry before returning to USC as a chemistry professor. Jerry began investing in real estate around Los Angeles while working at USC to supplement his teacher’s salary.

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Investment

Jerry soon made so much money from his side business that he quit teaching to focus solely on real estate. Jerry Buss would become a very wealthy man over time.

Jerry had saved enough money by 1979 to buy The Lakers, The Kings, and The Forum sports arena. He paid $67.5 million for all three (only $16 million of which went to The Lakers). That equates to $213 million today, adjusted for inflation. It was the largest sports team purchase in history at the time.

Within a year of Jerry’s arrival, the Lakers had won their first of ten NBA championships. The Lakers were worth $1 billion at the time of his death in 2013. They were one of the first professional teams to be valued at a billion dollars.

Surprisingly, The Lakers are now one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, valued at more than $5.5 billion.

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Personal Life

Buss was also a skilled poker player who competed on a professional level. Dr. Jerry Buss died on February 18, 2013, in a Los Angeles hospital after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by six children, all of whom are active members of The Lakers organization.

Juss Buss Death

Jerry Buss, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Lakers who spared no expense in making his NBA team a top-tier title contender — not to mention a premier entertainment attraction in Hollywood — died at the age of 80. He passed away on February 18, 2013.

Buss, who paid $67.5 million for the Lakers and other assets in 1979 — the franchise is now worth $1 billion, according to Forbes — died Monday morning, the Lakers announced. He was being treated for cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Buss had surgery in August for an undisclosed ailment and had been hospitalized several times in the previous two years.

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Jerry Buss

Several current and former Lakers players, including Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, were said to have visited the team owner recently. Buss, a former Staples Center regular, did not attend a game this season.

Since Buss bought the team from Jack Kent Cooke, the Lakers have won 10 of their 16 NBA championships. The Forum, the club’s former arena in Inglewood; the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, which he later sold in chunks to Bruce McNall; and a 13,000-acre ranch were also included in the deal, which was then the largest in sports history.

JoAnn Buss, wife of Jerry Buss is also dead. She died on Dec 16, 2019.

Jerry Buss Wife and Kids

Buss’ marriage to the former JoAnn Mueller ended in divorce in 1972, after they had four children: Johnny (born in 1956), Jim (born in 1959), Jeanie (born in 1961), and Janie. Buss was widely known as a playboy and had a string of young girlfriends during his time as Lakers owner.

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Buss had two more children with Karen Demel: Joey (b. 1985) and Jesse (b. 1986). (b. 1988). At the time of his death in 2013, all six of his children were employed by the Lakers.

In 1990, Buss reached an out-of-court settlement in a palimony suit filed by Puppi Buss, who claimed that she had an on-and-off relationship with Buss for 15 years and that he fathered her son; the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

On May 29, 2007, Buss was cited for driving under the influence after two California Highway Patrol officers observed him driving his gold Mercedes-Benz on the wrong side of the road in Carlsbad, California, with a 23-year-old woman passenger. Buss was arrested after failing a field sobriety test, given a blood test, and booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08.

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