Mark Cuban is a billionaire entrepreneur, television personality, investor, and media proprietor. With an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion, Cuban is best known for being the owner of NBA team Dallas Mavericks and one of the investors on the reality television series Shark Tank.
Cuban was born on July 13, 1958, and grew up in the Jewish working-class neighborhood of Mount Lebanon, Pittsburgh.
At age 12, he vividly remembers asking his father for a new pair of expensive basketball shoes. “Those shoes on your feet look like they’re working pretty well. If you want a new pair of sneakers, you need a job and you can go buy them”, his father replied. To fund his endeavor, he sold packs of garbage bags to neighbors for a profit of $3 per bag.
Four years later, he took advantage of a newspaper strike by purchasing newspapers from Cleveland and selling them in his local area until the strike was over.
In college, Cuban would meet his tuition costs by offering dance classes on an hourly basis. In 1981, he graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a degree in Business Administration.
Cuban had a brief stint back in Pittsburgh working in the finance industry but moved to Texas with friends after becoming dissatisfied with life in Pennsylvania.
In Texas, he eventually founded MicroSolutions, a software company in fierce competition with a firm he had been fired from a few months earlier. After building an impressive client list, Cuban sold the company in 1990 for $6 million to H&R Block subsidiary CompuServe.
Content, he decided to retire soon after at the age of 32.
Five years into retirement, Cuban became restless and began looking for new business opportunities. He was approached by Christopher Jaeb, a businessman wanting to fund an online sports streaming service called AudioNet.
Cuban was immediately interested after hearing the pitch, investing $10,000 and running operations alongside university friend Todd Wagner. In 1998, Wagner and Cuban bought out Jaeb and renamed the company Broadcast.com. After holding an IPO in November of the same year, the pair became instant multi-millionaires.
Just nine months later at the height of the dotcom bubble, Yahoo acquired Broadcast.com in an all-stock deal for $5.7 billion. Cuban sold most of his Yahoo stock in 1999 for over $1 billion.
With the proceeds from the sale of his Yahoo shares, Cuban has made multiple successful investments in the past two decades.
- $280 million for the Dallas Mavericks NBA team. Forbes now estimates the franchise is worth $2.45 billion.
- Landmark Theatres – a cinema chain operating in the United States and Canada.
- Mission-driven companies – such as LuminAID, who provide solar rechargeable lighting to disaster areas.
- Start-up investments – as part of his role on the reality television show Shark Tank, Cuban has personally invested almost $20 million in roughly 80 small businesses.
- Magnolia Pictures – Cuban also wholly owns film distributor Magnolia Pictures.
- Mark Cuban is a billionaire investor, media proprietor, sports team owner, and television personality. His passion for entrepreneurship was ignited after his father encouraged him to find a way to purchase a pair of expensive basketball shoes.
- Cuban founded software company MicroSolutions after being fired from a major competitor. After selling the company for $6 million in 1990, he decided to retire.
- Five years later, Cuban invested $10,000 in sports streaming service AudioNet. With colleague Todd Wagner, AudioNet became Broadcast.com with an IPO held in 1998. The company was later purchased by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in shares. This made Cuban an instant billionaire.
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