1967 - June, 1979
Jack Kent Cooke (Oct. 25, 1912 - April 6, 1997) was the original owner of the Los Angles Kings paying the National Hockey League $2 million to establish a team in Los Angeles, with the Kings debuting in the NHL during the 1967-68 season. In addition, Cooke built The Forum where the Kings played from Dec. 30, 1967 to Sept. 20 1999.
Besides the Kings and The Forum, Cooke owned the Los Angeles Lakers (1965-79), where his team won the 1972 NBA Title, the Washington Redskins, whom he bought 25 percent interest in in 1961, became majority owner in 1974 and sole owner in 1985 winning Super Bowls in 1983, 1988 and 1992, the United Soccer Association's Los Angeles Wolves (1967-68), and Elmendorf Farm in Louisville, Ky., which he purchased in 1984 and owned until he died in 1997, breeding race horses.
Cooke got his start in professional sports in 1951 as owner of the minor league baseball Toronto Maple Leafs, which he owned until 1964. In 1979, Cooke sold The Forum to Dr. Jerry Buss along with the Lakers and the Kings for a then-record $67.5 million.
- Compiled by LAKings.com
June, 1979-March, 1988
Jerry Buss' rise from an impoverished youth in Kemmerer, a small Wyoming mining and sheep ranching community, to his current position of influence in both the business and sports communities was not so much meteoric as it was a product of education and hard work.
A graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor's degree, Buss received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California.
In 1958, he and fellow aerospace worker Frank Mariani found among other common bonds a mutual desire to improve their economic status. Applying their scientific training to commerce, chemist Buss and engineer Mariani parlayed an original $1,000 investment in an apartment building into what became a multi-hundred million dollar real estate business with property throughout California and holdings in Arizona and Nevada.
Buss' first involvement in professional sports came in World Team Tennis in 1974. Each year his ownership attendance increased steadily until, in 1978, the Los Angeles Strings not only won the league championships, they also broke all attendance records by a large margin.
Buss has been an avid sports fan for as long as he can remember. Unable to pursue even a high school athletic career because of his need to work, his dream had been to be involved in sports. That dream came true in June of 1979 when he purchased the Lakers, Kings and The Forum from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million, which at the time, was the largest sports transaction in history. The Lakers have been very successful under Buss' ownership, winning eight NBA championships.
The Buss family has also owned and operated the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Los Angeles Strings of Team Tennis, Prime Ticket, Southern California's first cable sports network, which featured Forum based teams and events, along with other professional and major college athletic games and events, as well as the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.
One of the most diverse and progressive entrepreneurs in America, Bruce McNall is a man who has impacted every industry he has done business in. While McNall has been successful in collectibles, sports and entertainment - to name a few - he also enhances the stature and public awareness in each endeavor he undertakes.
Take the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. Under McNall, who became the sole owner of the Kings in March, 1988 (he first bought into the hockey club purchasing a 25 percent stake in the Kings from Dr. Jerry Buss in 1986 and then another 24 percent in 1987 to become the Kings largest share holder), the Kings won their first division title in their history (1990-91) and captured the coveted Campbell Conference Championship in 1993, thereby earning their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. With McNall's guidance, the sport of ice hockey became a bona fide entertainment attraction in Southern California. His almost instant success prompted The Sporting News and The Hockey News to name him Executive of the Year in 1989. An influential figure among NHL owners and a staunch advocate of league expansion, McNall served a term as chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors of the National Hockey League (1992-94).
McNall's involvement in professional sports branched out to the Canadian Football League when he, with Kings' star Wayne Gretzky and late actor John Candy, bought the Toronto Argonauts in February, 1991. McNall showed his commitment to succeeding in the CFL by signing college star Raghib “Rocket” Ismail away from the NFL soon thereafter. The Argonauts responded with their second-best record ever (13-5) and a Grey Cup championship. Said Phil Kershaw, chairman of the CFL's board of governors, “Having the McNall group has brought tremendous credibility to the CFL.”
His success in business centers around his first love - coin collecting. His boyhood hobby led to the formation of Numismatic Fine Arts International, one of the most important dealers of ancient coins and antiquities in the world. At 14 years old, McNall worked a corner of a coin store in Arcadia owned by two men. At 15, he bought the store and operated it until he enrolled at UCLA. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in ancient history, McNall earned a Regents Fellowship to prepare for his doctorate.
In 1971, McNall formed Numismatic Fine Arts International and opened his first shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. NFA International has included the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre among its clients. In 1990, McNall expanded his coins and antiquities business by purchasing a controlling interest in Superior Stamp and Coin (now known as Superior Galleries), the largest U.S. coin dealer in the world.
At a Swiss auction in 1974, a young McNall earned the respect of the world's more established coin collectors when he bought an Athenian Decadrachm, known as the “Mona Lisa of Greek Coins.” In the process of securing the coin, which is now valued at more than $1 million, he outbid the late Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who later became president of France.
McNall made news in the spring of 1991 with yet another monumental acquisition of a rare collectible- the 1910 T206 Honus Wagner baseball care, the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia in the world. McNall, along with Gretzky, paid $451,000 for the card at a New York auction on March 22, 1991.
It has been through his coin dealings that McNall became involved in his other ventures. With Nelson Bunker Hunt, the Texas oilman and ancient coin collector, McNall formed a thoroughbred horse syndicate, yielding champion horses Estrapade and Dahar. Since then, McNall's Summa Stable has been represented in the winner's circles of the $1 million Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Trempolino in 1987 and Saumarez in 1990) and the Arlington Million (Golden Pheasant in 1990), thoroughbred racing's premier turf events.
His first taste of the movie industry also evolved from his coin contacts, first with Sherwood Productions (makers of “War Games,” “Blame It On Rio” and “Mr. Mom”) and then as Gladden Entertainment, which boasts “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Mannequin” and “Weekend At Bernie's” among its hits.
McNall's original involvement in sports was as part owner of the Dallas Mavericks when the NBA expanded in 1980. Although the club struggled on the court in its early years, the Mavericks showed a profit on the business side during McNall's four years.
|JOSEPH COHEN AND JEFFERY SUDIKOFF
May 16, 1994 - October, 1995
Sudikoff was the founder of the IDB Communications Group, Inc., and has been the company's chief executive officer and chairman since its incorporation in September, 1983. IDB operates a domestic and international communication network that provides its customers with radio and television transmission services, international private line telephone, facsimile and data connections, mobile satellite communications capabilities and international public-switched long distance telephone services. Many NHL clubs at one time utilized IDB Communications for the transmission of their television signal for local broadcasts.
While attending Dartmouth College, Sudikoff used his position as reporter, news director and sales manager for WDCR-AM and WFRD-FM in Hanover to gain national recognition when the media focused on the 1976 presidential race in New Hampshire. After graduation in 1977, he spent a year in Washington and then in Israel as a free-lance foreign correspondent for various radio broadcasters. From 1978-1981, Sudikoff became production manager for a concert tour management firm.
In 1981, Sudikoff founded IDB Communications as technical consultant to ABC Radio Enterprises, NBC, RKO and other radio networks. He became widely regarded as a pioneer in developing new applications for emerging satellite technology in the areas of programming, production and distribution. By 1983, customer demand for Sudikoff's cost-effective, high-quality transmission services supported the birth of IDB to better serve the radio broadcast industry.
Following a record of successes in the areas of television, entertainment and sports as both a corporate chief executive and an entrepreneur, Joseph M. Cohen now carries the title of chairman of the Los Angeles Kings. Cohen and partner Jeffrey Sudikoff purchased majority interest in the Kings on May 16, 1994.
Cohen was the founder and principal architect of the Madison Square Garden Network and a co-founder of the USA Network. Subsequently, he organized two investment partnerships in the communications field. First, he greatly expanded and diversified the services of Hughes Television Network and then restored Z Channel- a well known Los Angeles-based regional pay television service- to its former prominence.
While earning his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Cohen joined the Madison Square Garden organization as assistant to the vice president of operations. From 1970, he held increasingly responsible staff positions in the corporation until being named vice president of Madison Square Garden Cable in 1975. It was in that position that Cohen initiated national satellite distribution of Garden events with UA/Columbia Cable Television, laying the foundation for the creation of USA Network, a concept that Cohen and his associates expanded into a 24-hour service, which today is carried by virtually every cable system in the United States.
Upon assuming the presidency of the Madison Square Garden Communications Network in 1979, Cohen became responsible for overseeing all advertising, sales, production and program development for the network, as well as the broadcast and cable activities of all Garden entertainment and sporting events.
Prior to his role with the MSG Network, he held the position of vice president, development for Madison Square Garden Corporation. In that capacity, he greatly expanded the activities of the Garden and its subsidiaries, both in live presentations and as a supplier of event programming to all forms of electronic media.
Cohen left the Garden in 1986 to form a group of investors who purchased Hughes Television Network, and in 1987, he headed another investment partnership that purchased Z Channel and became chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Cable Network.
From 1989 to 1993, Cohen was a consultant to the entertainment and arena management firm, Spectator, for their television distribution and arena activities and to Rainbow Program Services, a New York based company which owns and operates more than a dozen national and regional cable networks. In 1991, Cohen was appointed president of Spectator West, overseeing Spectator-related business in Los Angeles, and later joined Spectator Films as president and CEO.
Among the many highlights in Cohen's career are serving the television committees for both the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association between 1976 and 1985, representing the Rangers and Knicks. While with the USA Network, he negotiated the first cable contracts for the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, and, along with Bruce McNall, negotiated the NHL's current contract with ESPN.
In addition to his activities in TV and allied fields, Cohen has been active in the production and management of live events at arenas and racetracks. He has twice been named Billboard Magazine's “Facility Manager of the Year” (1974 and 1976).
Cohen is director of the March of Dimes, a trustee of the New York Sports Museum and Hall of Fame, a past trustee of Marymount Junior School, co-chairman of the RP Foundation's Fighting Blindness League, and has advised numerous public organizations, including the New York State Council for the Arts.
|AEG - PHILIP ANSCHUTZ AND EDWARD ROSKI
October, 1995 - Present
Mr. Anschutz is owner of the The Anschutz Corporation, Denver, Colorado. The company's major business interests are in the fields of natural resources, transportation, real estate and lodging, entertainment and communications.
As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of one of the oldest and largest privately held real estate companies in the United States, Edward P. Roski, Jr., took over ownership of the Los Angeles Kings with Philip F. Anschutz in October, 1995. Mr. Roski's expertise in real estate development played a key role as he helped lead the L.A. Arena Company's efforts to create STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
A graduate of the University of Southern California in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and real estate, Mr. Roski served as an officer in the United States Marines from 1962 to 1966. Born and raised in Southern California, he is also a graduate of Loyola High School.
Mr. Roski's other involvements include serving on the Board of Governors of the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Board of Trustees of the California Science Center; Board of Trustees of National Geographic Society; Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission; Board of Regents, Loyola High School and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Southern California.