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Jerry Buss Net Worth

Jerry Buss Net Worth

Jerry Buss’s Legacy and Net Worth

Jerry Buss: The Visionary Sports Team Owner and His Financial Empire

Gerald Hatten Buss, known as Jerry Buss, was a prominent figure in the world of sports, business, and entertainment. Born on January 27, 1933, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Buss carved a niche for himself as a successful businessman, an innovative sports team owner, and a philanthropist. His journey from a humble beginning to becoming the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers is a classic American tale of rags to riches.

Early Life and Academic Pursuits

Jerry Buss’s early life was marked by financial hardship. Raised by a single mother who worked as a waitress, Buss’s childhood was spent in various small towns, including Kemmerer, Wyoming. Despite these challenges, he was a bright student, securing a scholarship to the University of Wyoming. Buss completed his undergraduate degree in just two and a half years and went on to earn a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California (USC) by the age of 24.

After completing his education, Buss briefly worked in the aerospace industry and as a faculty member at USC. However, his career took a significant turn when he ventured into real estate, which laid the foundation for his future success.

Building a Real Estate Empire

Jerry Buss began his real estate career with a modest investment in a Los Angeles apartment building. His business acumen led to rapid success, allowing him to expand his holdings across California, Arizona, and Nevada. By the late 1970s, Buss had become a real estate mogul, owning approximately 700 properties.

This success in real estate provided the capital required to venture into sports team ownership, marking the beginning of a new era in his career.

Revolutionizing the Sports World

In 1979, Jerry Buss made a landmark purchase of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), and The Forum arena for a total of $67.5 million. His ownership of the Lakers was particularly notable, as he transformed the team into one of the most successful and glamorous franchises in the history of sports. Under his leadership, the Lakers won ten NBA championships and became known for their “Showtime” style of play, captivating fans worldwide.

Buss’s innovative approach to sports entertainment, including creating a vibrant atmosphere with celebrity appearances and cheerleaders, significantly enhanced the fan experience and influenced how sports are viewed today.

Philanthropic Efforts and Personal Life

Apart from his business achievements, Jerry Buss was also known for his philanthropic efforts. He donated millions to educational institutions, including $7.5 million to USC’s Department of Chemistry. His generosity extended to his personal connections; he supported former Lakers player Walt Hazzard and his family after Hazzard suffered a severe stroke.

Buss’s personal life was as dynamic as his professional life. He was a father to seven children and was known for his charismatic personality and love for poker, often participating in high-stakes games and tournaments.

Legacy and Net Worth

At the time of his passing on February 18, 2013, Jerry Buss’s net worth was estimated at $700 million. His ownership stake in the Lakers, which was a significant part of his estate, was passed down to his children through a trust, ensuring the continuation of his legacy in the sports world.

Today, the Lakers are valued at approximately $6.5 billion, a testament to the enduring value of Buss’s investment and his vision for the team.


Jerry Buss’s journey from a chemistry professor to a celebrated sports team owner is a powerful reminder of the American dream. His strategic mind, combined with a passion for sports and entertainment, left an indelible mark on the NBA and professional sports as a whole. Buss’s legacy continues to influence the industry and his visionary approach to team ownership and fan engagement remains a gold standard.


  • What was Jerry Buss’s net worth at the time of his death?
    Jerry Buss had an estimated net worth of $700 million in 2013.
  • How did Jerry Buss make his fortune?
    He amassed his wealth through real estate investments and later through his ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers and other sports franchises.
  • What teams did Jerry Buss own?
    Jerry Buss owned the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), and Los Angeles Lazers (soccer).
  • How many NBA championships did the Lakers win under Jerry Buss?
    The Lakers won ten NBA championships under his ownership.
  • Did Jerry Buss have any children involved in the Lakers’ organization?
    Yes, at the time of his death, six of his children were involved in the Lakers organization.

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