Category: Sports / February 18, 2013 1:51 PM EST
Jerry Buss, who parlayed a $1,000 real estate investment into ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers and won 10 National Basketball Association championships, has died at 79, the NBA said on its official website on Monday (February 18).
Buss had been hospitalized and treated for cancer but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure.
Buss bought the Lakers in 1979 and under his ownership the team became one of the most valuable and popular franchises in professional sports.
The Lakers won league championships during their "Showtime" era in 1980s and early '90s with teams that feature some of the sports' biggest names, including Magic Johnson. The team had more dominant years in the late 1990s through 2004 with superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.
Two of Buss' adult children are executive vice presidents of the franchise - Jeanie Buss manages the business and Jim Buss oversees basketball operations.