Death Notice: Jerry Buss
Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers grew up in Kemmerer, Wyoming
by Pinedale Online!
February 18, 2013
Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, passed away on Monday, February 18, 2013 due to kidney failure complications from cancer. He was 80-years old.
Buss was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1933. The family moved to Kemmerer, Wyoming where he grew up. According to online sources, his mother was an accountant, and his father was university professor of statistics. His parents divorced and he was raised by his mother while in Wyoming. He initially dropped out of Kemmerer High School to work for Union Pacific Railroad, then went back to high school and graduated. He went on to school at the University of Wyoming where he earned a B.S. degree in two and a half years in 1955. He then moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1958 at the age of 24. He spent the rest of his life and career in California.
He started working as a chemist and was on the faculty of USC teaching in the chemistry department. He went into real estate development in the Los Angeles area to supplement his income so he could continue teaching. He became quite successful and co-owned of a real estate investment company called Mariani-Buss Associates with his long-time business partner Frank Mariani. In 1979, with money from his real-estate ventures, he purchased the then-struggling Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, along with the Los Angeles Kings hockey team of the NHL, for a purchase price of $67.5 million. At the time, it was the largest transaction in sports history. Under his nearly 34 years of management, the team made it to the NBA finals 16 times. They won 10 titles between 1980 and 2010.
Gerald Hatten "Jerry" Buss (January 27, 1933 – February 18, 2013)