Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 80.
Buss had been hospitalized for cancer, but died of kidney failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday, said his assistant, Bob Steiner.
Paying $67.5 million when he first bought the the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke (in a deal that also included the N.H.L.’s L.A. Kings, the L.A. Forum sports arena and Cooke s California ranch), Buss saw their value increase to $1 billion, according to a Forbes ranking in January, reports The New York Times.
That made the team second in the N.B.A. to the New York Knicks $1.1 billion valuation.
During his 32 years with the Lakers, Buss’s team made the N.B.A finals 16 times (through 2011), winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010.
At just 24, Buss earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and later had careers in aerospace and real estate development.
Buss is survived by his six children.
As news of his death traveled, athletes and celebrities took to Twitter to share their condolences.