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David Stern

(1942 - )

David Stern is a Jewish American executive and the current commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Stern (born September 22, 1942) was born in New York City and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1963 and earned his law degree from Columbia University in 1966.

After graduating from Columbia, Stern began handling legal business for the NBA. In 1978, he left his law firm to become legal counsel for the league. Two years later, the position of "Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs" was created for Stern, and he was charged with finding creative and productive ways to use marketing, television, and public relations to boost the NBA's image.

In 1984, at the age of 42, Stern became the fourth commissioner of the NBA. When he assumed his new office, the league was going through an exceptionally difficult financial period - most teams were losing money, fan attendance and television ratings had dropped and corporate sponsors were abandoning the sport. Under Stern's leadership, however, the league became unprecedentedly successful. He negotiated an agreement between the players and owners based on revenue sharing amd also marketed the league by emphasizing the extraordinary skills of such individual stars as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. In 1989, the Associated Press voted Stern the Executive of the Decade.

In October 2012, Stern announced that he would officially retire from his position atop the NBA on February 1, 2014, thirty years to the day after beginning his tenure as commissioner.

Sources: Jews in Sports; Wikipedia