Jerry Buss, who bought the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979 and turned them into the N.B.A.’s glamour team, winners of 10 league championships and the cornerstone of his Southern California sports empire, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 80.
His death was announced by the Lakers. He had been hospitalized with cancer for much of the last 18 months.
A child of the Depression, Buss obtained a doctorate in physical chemistry and later prospered in real estate ventures, enabling him to pursue his love of sports.
He paid $67.5 million to buy the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke in a deal that included the Los Angeles Kings of the N.H.L., the Forum sports arena in Los Angeles and Cooke’s California ranch.