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R.I.P. Jerry Buss (1933-2013)

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Jerry Buss (LA Lakers owner) passed away today after a fight with cancer.

Born: Jan. 27, 1933;
grew up in Kemmerer, Wyo., 130 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, where he was born

Education: University of Wyoming (Bachelor’s in chemistry), Southern California (Ph.D in physical chemistry)

Family: Survived by sons Jim, executive vice president of player personnel for the Lakers; Johnny, executive vice president of strategic development for the Lakers, Jesse, Lakers’ director of scouting and Joey, CEO and president of the Lakers’ Development League team, D-Fenders; daughters Jeanie, executive vice president of business operations for the Lakers and Janie, Lakers’ director of charitable services

Hall of Fame: Inducted in 2010 into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Best parlay: An avid poker player, Buss turned a $1,000 investment in a West Los Angeles apartment building into assets enabling him to buy into sports ownership….He was well known at the World Series of Poker. He last played it in 2011, including 12 official WSOP gold bracelet events. In a statement on his passing, the WSOP said: “Jerry epitomizes what makes the game of poker so great. Everyone is on equal footing when you enter a poker tournament. And Jerry Buss acted and carried himself as a dignified gentlemen throughout. There is no doubt he was competitive and liked to win, but to anyone who had the pleasure of interacting with him at the World Series of Poker, you left better for the experience and rooting for him and his Lakers.”

Sports ownership over the years: Los Angeles Strings of World Team Tennis; Los Angeles Lakers; Los Angeles Kings; WNBA Los Angeles Sparks; soccer’s Los Angeles Lazers

Trivia: Buss grew up wanting to be a teacher, taught at USC for a few years, worked in the aerospace industry and then went into in real estate

Quote: “Some people own sports franchises more as a business, a steppingstone to fame. But I own it mainly because I love it. It’s a corny line, but they say, ‘When you bleed, you bleed for blue and gold.’ I was a Laker fan a long time before I was fortunate enough to own them.” — Buss, in 2006 interview for a joint project between the Casper (Wyo.) Star Tribune and the Casper Journal

Spotted: USA TODAY

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