Jerry Buss Net Worth, Early Life, Career

Jerry Buss Net Worth

Jerry Buss, aged 80, was the former owner of the LA Lakers. He owned a multimillion-dollar fortune while alive. He was one of the millionaire sports owners involved in both real estate investments and sports ownership. But behind his impressive fortune, here’s the story of his long journey. Take a glimpse at how much was Jerry Buss net worth when he died.

Who is Jerry Buss?

Gerald Hatten Buss, well-known as Jerry Buss, was a successful American businessman. In his diverse ventures, he was also a chemist and philanthropist. But he became widely known due to his ownership of several sports teams, specifically the LA Lakers. Under his ownership, the Lakers won an impressive 10 championships.

Buss was so influential in the world of basketball. Apart from the Lakers, he also owned other professional sports teams in Southern California.

Quick Bio

Full Name Gerald Hatten Buss
Born January 27, 1933
Birthplace Salt Lake City, Utah, US
Died February 18, 2013 (aged 80)
Nationality American
Profession Businessman, Investor, Chemist, Poker Player
Net Worth $700 Million

Jerry Buss Net Worth

The then-owner of the Lakers, Jerry Buss left a net worth that is indeed praiseworthy. As a very successful businessman, Buss had an impressive net worth during his lifetime. That would probably count in a billion if he were alive. However, the then-owner of the Lakers, Jerry Buss, still left a net worth that is indeed praiseworthy. It was around $700 million.

Early Life and Education

Even though we know Jerry Buss as a millionaire, he did have a challenging early life. Born in 1933, Gerald Hatten Buss aka Jerry Buss, hailed from Salt Lake City in Utah.

Jerry Buss Net Worth

Jerry moved to LA when he was nine and was raised by his mother only. He never had any contact with his biological father after he abandoned Jerry when he was only one. his first birthday. Life wasn’t easy; his family moved around, and Jerry took on various jobs during his high school days, like working in a plumbing business.

Despite having a difficult childhood, Jerry still managed to have a tremendous academic profile. He studied at the University of Wyoming with a scholarship. And just in two and a half years, he completed his Bachelor’s degree.

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Afterward, Jerry then returned to LA for further studies at the University of Southern California. And from there, Jerry obtained a Master’s and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry just by the age of 24.

After completing his Ph.D., Jerry worked in Boston and later in the mining and aerospace industries before joining the faculty of USC’s chemistry department.

Source Behind Jerry Buss Net Worth

Jerry Buss’s worth is highly attributed to his early business in real estate and his involvement in sports. Here’s a summary of all his ventures and the success behind his fortune.

Real Estate Business

Jerry Buss started getting interested in real estate back in 1959. He began by investing just a thousand USD in a small apartment building in West LA. But his business continued to grow over time as well.

Jerry and his business partner, Frank Mariani, formed the company Mariani-Buss Associates. That later became very successful in real estate. By 1979, they owned about seven hundred properties across Arizona, California, and Nevada. One of the notable properties among these is the famous Pickfair estate in Beverly Hills that Jerry bought.

Ownership of LA Lakers and More

Another and the major source of Jerry Buss’s vast wealth is his sports ownership. In 1979, Jerry Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers alongside a hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, The Forum Arena, and a vast ranch in the Sierra Nevada.

The total cost was $67.5 million, with Buss owning a majority stake of 66%. The remaining 34% was owned by others. Specifically, 8% of the team was owned by real estate billionaire Ed Roski, who acquired his stake in 1998. Additionally, 26% was owned by AEG founder Phil Anschutz.

However, Anschutz later sold his stake in 2021 to private equity billionaires Mark Walter and Todd Boehly.


Jerry Buss was not only into basketball; he also owned the Los Angeles Strings in World Team Tennis and later took charge of the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA.

Buss made smart business decisions, like selling the naming rights of The Forum to Great Western Bank, which helped boost his financial success. Buss’s vision for entertaining basketball, known as the Showtime era, contributed to the team’s success. He sold the Great Western Forum as part of this move. His ownership of the Sparks continued until 2006.

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Personal Life

Jerry Buss, a man with a big family, had seven children, six biological and one adopted. When Jerry passed away in 2013, six of his seven children were already working for the Lakers.

In 2012, Jerry dealt with health issues, spending months in the hospital due to an undisclosed intestinal problem. In February 2013, it was informed that Jerry had been battling cancer since 2012.


At the age of 80, Jerry Buss departed from this life on February 18, 2013; the cause of death was kidney failure after battling cancer. His memorial event was held on February 21. On February 22, he was laid to rest in a secret ceremony at Hollywood Hills’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Real Estate Riches

Jerry Buss, the former owner of the LA Lakers, had several personal residences, some were really fancy. One such example was his Playa del Rey mansion in California. He bought that property for an impressive $3.68 million in 1995. This mansion was super spacious, covering 10,846 square feet.

Jerry Buss Net Worth

He also had a different fancy house, a Georgian-style manor, back in 1979. However, he sold it after just five years for $775K. Now, that same house is up for sale again, and it’s listed for a whopping $5.8 million.

One of Jerry Buss’s most fantastic moves was buying Pickfair in 1979. Pickfair was this super famous estate in Beverly Hills that used to belong to Hollywood legends Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.

His massive 13,000-acre ranch, which we’ve already mentioned above, is in the Sierra Nevada. He got this ranch in 1979 along with the Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, and The Forum.


What was Jerry Buss’s net worth when he died?

It was around $700 in 2013, the year of his passing.

Who owned the Lakers before Jerry Buss?

Before Jerry Buss, it was Jack Kent Cooke who owned the Lakers. Jerry Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979, alongside the LA Kings, The Forum, and a Sierra Nevada ranch from Cooke.

Who owns the Lakers now?

Jeanie Buss, the third child of Jerry Buss, is the current controlling owner of the Lakers.


In the dynamic world of basketball, Jerry Buss masterfully directed the Lakers’ triumphs. He truly transformed aspirations into championship victories. On the other side, his strategic prowess in both sports and real estate contributed to a substantial Jerry Buss net worth. Beyond the court, Buss’s legacy serves as a beacon of ambition, style, and the audacity to dream.