Mark Cuban

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Mark Cuban

Born July 31, 1958 (1958-07-31) (age 50)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Occupation Owner of Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, and Chairman of HDNet
Net worth $2.3 Billion
Spouse(s) Tiffany Stewart (m. 2002–present) «start: (2002)»"Marriage: Tiffany Stewart to Mark Cuban" Location: (linkback:
Children 2 daughters[1]

Mark Cuban (born July 31, 1958) is an American billionaire entrepreneur.[1] He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team,[2] and Chairman of HDNet, an HDTV cable network.[3]


[edit] Biography

Mark Cuban (his family's last name was shortened from Chabenisky when his grandparents immigrated to America) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[4][5] and grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, in a Jewish working class family. His father Norton was an automobile upholsterer.[4][6][7] Cuban's first step into the business world occurred at age 12, when he sold garbage bags in order to pay for a pair of expensive basketball shoes.[4][8] While in school, he held a variety of jobs, including bartender, disco dancing instructor, and party promoter. He paid for college by collecting and selling stamps, and once gained about $1,100 from starting a chain letter.[4]

Rather than attend high school for his senior year, Cuban enrolled as a full time student at the University of Pittsburgh. After one year at the University of Pittsburgh, he transferred to Indiana University's Bloomington, Indiana campus and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.[9]

[edit] Family and personal interests

In September 2002, Cuban married Tiffany Stewart, an advertising executive, in Barbados, [2] with a wedding reception at the Mavericks' home, the American Airlines Center. Their daughter Alexis Sofia was born 25 Sept 2005; their second daughter Alyssa was born in 2007. [3] The family lives in the Preston Hollow area of Dallas, in a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) mansion [4] that Cuban bought for $13 million.

In June 2007, Cuban underwent hip replacement surgery after suffering from severe osteoarthritis.

[edit] Early career

In 1982, Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas. Cuban first found work as a bartender,[10][11] then as a salesperson for Your Business Software, one of the first PC software retailers in Dallas. He was terminated less than a year later.

Cuban started a company, MicroSolutions, with support from his previous customers from Your Business Software. MicroSolutions was initially a system integrator and software reseller. The company was an early proponent of technologies such as Carbon Copy, Lotus Notes, and CompuServe.[12] One of the company's largest clients was Perot Systems.[13] In 1990, Cuban sold MicroSolutions to CompuServe—then a subsidiary of H&R Block—for $6 million.[14] He retained approximately $2 million after taxes on the deal.[15]

In 1995, Cuban and fellow Indiana University alumnus Todd Wagner started Audionet, combining their mutual interest in college basketball and webcasting. With a single server and ISDN line[16], Audionet became in 1998. By 1999, had grown to 330 employees and $13.5 million in revenue for the second quarter.[17] In 1999, during the Dot-com boom, was acquired by Yahoo! for $5.9 billion in Yahoo! stock.[18]

[edit] Billionaire entrepreneur

After the sale, Cuban diversified his wealth to avoid exposure to a market crash.[19] As of 2009, Cuban is #296 on Forbes' "World's Richest People" list, with a net worth of $2.3 billion.[20] The Guinness Book of Records credits Cuban with the "largest single e-commerce transaction," after paying $40 million for his Gulfstream V jet in October 1999.[21]

Cuban continues to work with Wagner in another venture, 2929 Entertainment, which provides vertically integrated production and distribution of films and video.[22] On September 24, 2003, the firm purchased Landmark Theatres, a chain of 58 arthouse movie theaters.[23] The company is also responsible for the updated version of the TV show Star Search, which was broadcast on CBS.[24] 2929 Entertainment released Bubble, a movie directed by Steven Soderbergh, in theaters and on DVD on the same day in January 2006 as a simultaneous release.

Cuban was featured on the cover of the November 2003 premiere issue of Best magazine[25] announcing the arrival of High Definition Television. Cuban also was co-founder (with Philip Garvin) of HDNet, the first high-definition satellite television network.[26]

In February 2004, Cuban announced that he would be working with ABC television to produce a reality television series called The Benefactor. The premise of the six-episode series involved 16 contestants vying to win $1 million by participating in various contests, with their performances being judged by Cuban. It premiered on September 13, 2004 but due to poor ratings was cancelled before the full season aired.[27]

Cuban financially supported Grokster in the Supreme Court case, MGM v. Grokster.[28]

He is also a partner in Synergy Sports Technology, a web based basketball scouting and video delivery tool, used by many NBA teams.

Recently, Cuban has spearheaded ventures in the social software and distributed networking industries. He's an owner of IceRocket, a search engine which scours the blogosphere for content.[29] Cuban was also a partner in RedSwoosh[30] — a company which uses peer-to-peer technology to deliver rich media, including video and software to a user's PC, later acquired by Akamai. He was also an investor in Weblogs, Inc. which was acquired by AOL.[31]

In 2005, Cuban invested in Brondell Inc., a San Francisco startup making a high-tech toilet seat called a Swash that works like a bidet but mounts on a standard toilet. "People tend to approach technology the same way, whether it's in front of them, or behind them", Cuban joked.[32] He also invested in Goowy Media Inc., a San Diego internet software startup.

In April 2006, Sirius Satellite Radio announced that Cuban would host his own weekly radio talk show, Mark Cuban's Radio Maverick.[33] However, the show has not materialized.

In July 2006, Cuban financed[34], a web site created by former St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigative reporter Christopher Carey to uncover fraud and misinformation in publicly traded companies. Experimenting with a new business model for making online journalism financially viable, Cuban disclosed he would take positions in the shares of companies mentioned in in advance of publication. Business and legal analysts questioned the appropriateness of shorting a stock prior to making public pronouncements which are likely to result in losses in that stock's value. Cuban insisted that the practice is legal in view of full disclosure.[35][36][37]

In October 2008, Cuban started[38] as a grassroots, online portal for oversight over the US government 700 billion dollar "bailout" of financial institutions.

[edit] Dallas Mavericks

[edit] Ownership

Cuban became the owner of Dallas Mavericks in 2000.

On January 15, 2000, Cuban purchased a majority stake in the NBA Dallas Mavericks basketball team for $285 million from H. Ross Perot, Jr..[39][40]

In the 20 years before Cuban bought the team, the Mavs had a winning percentage of 40%, and playoff record of 21-32.[41][42] In the six years following, the team won 69% of their regular season games and reached the playoffs in each of those seasons. The Mavs playoff record with Cuban is 39 wins and 40 losses, including their first trip to the NBA Finals in 2006, where they lost to the Miami Heat.[43]

Historically, NBA team owners publicly play more passive roles and watch basketball games from skyboxes; Cuban sits alongside fans while donning team jerseys. Cuban flies his private airplane, a Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream V to attend away games. His ownership has been described by the media as the ultimate fan fantasy coming true.[44]

[edit] NBA policy controversies

Cuban's ownership has been the source of extensive media attention and controversy involving league policies.[45]

Cuban has been fined by the NBA, mostly for critical statements about the league and referees, at least $1,665,000 for 13 incidents.[46] In a June 30, 2006 interview, Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki said about Cuban:[47]

He's got to learn how to control himself as well as the players do. We can't lose our temper all the time on the court or off the court, and I think he's got to learn that, too. He's got to improve in that area and not yell at the officials the whole game. I don't think that helps us.... He sits right there by our bench. I think it's a bit much. But we all told him this before. It's nothing new. The game starts, and he's already yelling at them. So he needs to know how to control himself a little.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cuban said that he matches NBA fines with charitable donations of equal amounts.[48] In a nationally publicized incident, he criticized the league's manager of officials, Ed T. Rush, saying that he "wouldn't be able to manage a Dairy Queen." When Dairy Queen management took offense, Cuban worked for a day at a Dairy Queen in Coppell, Texas, where fans lined up in the street to get a Blizzard from the owner of the Mavericks.[49]

During the 2005-06 NBA season, Cuban started a booing campaign when former Maverick player Michael Finley returned to play against the Mavs as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.[50] In a playoff series between the Mavericks and Spurs, Cuban cursed Spurs forward Bruce Bowen[51] and was fined $200,000 by the NBA for rushing onto the court and criticizing NBA officials.[52] After the 2006 NBA Finals, Cuban was fined $250,000 by the NBA for repeated misconduct following the Mavericks' loss to the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2006 NBA Finals.

In February 2007, Cuban publicly criticized NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade and declared that he would get fined if he made any comments about what he thought really happened in the 2006 NBA Finals.[53][54]

On January 16, 2009, after a reviewing, the league fined Cuban $25,000 for yelling at Denver Nuggets player J. R. Smith at the end of the first half on a Mavericks-at-Nuggets game played on January 13.[55][56] Cuban was apparently incensed that Smith had thrown an elbow that barely missed Mavericks forward Antoine Wright.[57] Cuban offered to match the fine with a donation to a charity of Smith's choosing. Cuban stated that if he doesn't hear from Smith that he will donate the money to the NHL Players Association Goals and Dreams Fund in the names of Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore.[58]

[edit] Other sports businesses

In 2005, Cuban expressed interest in buying the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.[59] In 2006, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Cuban had joined an investment group with Dan Marino, Kevin Millevoi, Andy Murstein, and Walnut Capital principals Gregg Perelman and Todd Reidbord to acquire the Penguins.[60]

At World Wrestling Entertainment's 2003 Survivor Series, Cuban was involved in a staged altercation with RAW GM Eric Bischoff and RAW Superstar Randy Orton.[61]

Cuban has also expressed interest in owning a Major League Baseball team, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates[62] or the Chicago Cubs.[63] It was announced in April 2007 that the Cubs would go on sale once the Chicago Tribune's sale to Sam Zell is finalized, but Cuban refused to speculate on purchasing the club when it was not officially on the market.[64] On July 12, 2007, Cuban sent in an application to MLB to purchase the Chicago Cubs, which along with Wrigley Field and the Cubs Television Contract could go as high as $1 billion.[65] On October 8, 2007, he said he would likely bid on the team, calling it "an opportunity [he] couldn't let slip by" and also reiterated his interest in the team on the Jimmy Kimmel show on November 3, 2007.[66] In July 2008, he submitted an initial bid of $1.3 Billion to buy the Cubs and was invited to participate in a second round of bidding along with several other potential ownership groups.[67]

In May 2007, a possible new American football league called the UFL being set up by Wall Street businessman Bill Hambrecht was announced, including possible team ownership of a Las Vegas franchise by Cuban.[68][69]

On September 12, 2007, Cuban said that he was in talks with the Vince, Linda and Stephanie and Shane McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment in creating a mixed martial arts company that would compete with Ultimate Fighting Championship.[70]

Cuban followed up his intentions by organizing "HDNet Fights" a mixed martial arts promotion which airs exclusively on HDNet and premiered on October 13, 2007 with a card headlined by a fight between Erik Paulson and Jeff Ford as well as fights featuring veterans Drew Fickett and Justin Eilers.[71]

[edit] Popular culture and political positions

Cuban was one of the 12 contestants on the 5th season of the ABC Show Dancing with the Stars.[72] He was partnered with show veteran Kym Johnson.[72] After making the cut for four weeks, they were eliminated on 23 October, 2007. They were the fifth couple to go after welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and professional partner Karina Smirnoff were sent packing the week before.

Cuban was briefly cited in Boston Legal's third season as a rich entrepreneur who would single-handedly fund Homeland Security reform in exchange for the publicity.

In the movie Step Brothers, Adam Scott plays Derek, brother to Will Ferrell. He is the successful brother. He talks about going trophy-fishing with Mark Cuban, whom he calls "Cubes".

Cuban is an admirer of individualism, claiming early inspiration from author/philosopher Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.[73] About Rand's novel The Fountainhead, he said: "[It] was incredibly motivating to me. It encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures. I loved it."[74] His political views lean towards libertarianism.[75] He held a position on the centrist Unity08 political organization's advisory council.[76]

[edit] Redacted

Cuban has financed the movie Redacted through Magnolia Pictures, a docudrama based on the Mahmudiyah killings, the rape, murder, and burning of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in March 2006 by U.S. soldiers, who also killed her parents and younger sister. Three of the soldiers involved were convicted, receiving life sentences for the crime with the possibility of parole in 10 years for two and 20 years for the third. The film made no mention of these convictions.[77]

In September 2007, Cuban, in his capacity as owner of Magnolia Pictures, "redacted" disturbing photographs from the concluding moments of the film, citing copyrights/permissions issues.[78]

[edit] Fallen Patriot Fund

Cuban started the Fallen Patriot Fund to help families of U.S. military persons killed or injured during the Iraq War, personally matching the first $1 million in contributions with funds from the Mark Cuban Foundation which is run by his brother Brian Cuban.[79]

[edit] 2008 Presidential endorsement

On February 8, 2008, Cuban announced his endorsement for Michael Bloomberg for President in the 2008 presidential election on his blog.[80] He stated in his endorsement: "Are you listening Mayor Bloomberg? For less than the cost of opening a tent pole movie, you can change the status quo".

[edit] Insider trading allegations

On November 17, 2008, it was announced that the SEC filed a civil suit against Mark Cuban relating to alleged insider trading in the shares of, now known as Copernic Inc..[81] A stock dilution occurred shortly after the June 2004 trade, which gave off red flags of inside knowledge at the time of the trade, which is alleged to have saved Cuban from a loss of $750,000.[82] The SEC claims Cuban ordered the sale of his holdings in after he was approached by the company on a confidential basis to participate in a transaction likely to be dilutive of current shareholders. Cuban disputes the charges, saying he had not agreed to keep the information secret.[83]On his blog, Cuban contended the facts were false and that the investigation was "a product of gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion."[84]

[edit] "The Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan"

On February 9, 2009, Cuban announced his own "stimulus plan", involving what he called "an open source exchange of ideas."[85] His plan entails individuals posting ideas that fit certain criteria (breaking even within 60 days, profitability within 90 days, no advertising, certain banking controls for Cuban) in the hopes that either Cuban will fund them, or other individuals will take up the ideas thereby stimulating the economy.[86] In fact, Cuban states that ideas may be stolen. As such, there has been some concern among posters on the stimulus site towards many of Cuban's policies.

[edit] Film and television credits

[edit] Acting roles

  • Breaking the F-ing Rules (2007 film) as "Seamus"
  • All In (2006 film) as himself
  • Like Mike 2: Streetball (2006 film) as "Drop Squad Coach"
  • Walker, Texas Ranger (TV Series, 2000) as "Mark Smith"
  • Lost at Sea (1995 film) as "Villain"
  • Talking About Sex (1994 film) as "Macho Mark"

[edit] As himself

[edit] References

  1. ^ The Dot-Com Billionaire: Mark Cuban
  2. ^ NBA biography
  3. ^ HDnet Press Release. December 16, 2003.
  4. ^ a b c d Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Cuban hoping to work his magic here someday. October 22, 2006.
  5. ^ Mark Cuban: Web 1.0's Richie Rich needs some respect
  6. ^ Tom D'Angelo (June 8, 2006). "Cuban a unique NBA owner". Palm Beach Post. 
  7. ^ John Strubel. "Mark Cuban: Pittsburgh's Dream Owner". 
  8. ^ The Maverick
  9. ^ Mark Cuban in Indiana University Alumni Association,Indiana Alumni Magazine
  10. ^ Blog Maverick: Success and Motivation, Part 1
  11. ^ Blog Maverick: Success and Motivation, You only have to be right once!
  12. ^ Mark Cuban: A Success Story You Can Relate To
  13. ^ BlogMaverick: A little bit of history….Lotus Notes
  14. ^ Losing's not an option for Cuban
  15. ^ A 'must read' by Maverick owner Mark Cuban
  16. ^ Q&A With Mark Cuban
  17. ^ Gale Group Newsletter Database
  18. ^ Yahoo completes acquisition
  19. ^ What Mark Cuban is doing with his $1 billion
  20. ^ The World's Billionaires
  21. ^ Guiness World Records
  22. ^ Holdings
  23. ^ Mark Cuban buys Landmark
  24. ^ 2929 Productions at IMDb
  25. ^ Best Stuff and Primedia Launch Best
  26. ^ HDNet, Only All-High Definition National Television Network, Launches on DIRECTV
  27. ^ The Benefactor
  28. ^ Mark Cuban to Finance Grokster's Fight
  29. ^ Mark Cuban to relaunch IceRocket
  30. ^ RedSwoosh latest video file-sharing entrant, to raise $5M+
  31. ^ AOL Acquires Weblogs, Inc.
  32. ^ Clean living
  33. ^ Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban to Host Talk Show Exclusively On SIRIUS Satellite Radio
  34. ^ Mark Cuban Invests In New Investigative Journalism Site
  35. ^ Cuban's made his agenda crystal clear
  36. ^ And it looked so good
  37. ^ Money is Good
  38. ^ Mark Cuban's online resource for the US government bailout of financial institutions
  39. ^ Cuban, unembargoed
  40. ^ NBA press release
  41. ^ Dallas Mavericks 1980-
  42. ^ Sports Network
  43. ^ Finals 2006 Mavs loose to Miami Heat
  44. ^ All fun and games for Cuban
  45. ^ The NBA's True Maverick
  46. ^ ABCnews: Cuban Slammed with $250,000 Fine
  47. ^ Sefko, Eddie (2006-07-01). "Dirk to Cuban: Chill out". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved on 2006-07-04. 
  48. ^ Cuban fined $250,000 for tirade. The Associated Press. June 21, 2006
  49. ^ Mavs owner serves smiles and ice cream
  50. ^ Finley's 'act' turns off Cuban
  51. ^ Spurs' Bowen adds to Dallas' frustration
  52. ^ Yahoo! Sports
  53. ^ "Nowitzki won't comment on Wade's criticism"
  54. ^ I know you are , but what am I… - Jun 22nd 2006 1:08AM,
  55. ^ NBA fines Mavs owner Cuban $25,000
  56. ^ "Cuban fined". Retrieved on 1-16-09. 
  57. ^ Cuban may still face punishment for spat
  58. ^ "Cuban posts donation plans on blog". Retrieved on 1-19-09. 
  59. ^ Cuban, Marino to buy Pens?
  60. ^ Anderson, Shelly (June 28, 2006). "Cuban, Marino join N.Y. group in bid for the Penguins". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  61. ^ Superstars upset over Mark Cuban segment, SD treated differently, more
  62. ^ Cuban interested if Pirates for sale
  63. ^ Mariotti, Jay (May 30, 2006). "Pitiful Cubs could use a maverick owner". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  64. ^ "Cuban says he won't speculate on Cubs sale". ESPN. April 10, 2007. 
  65. ^ Mark Cuban Applies to Buy Chicago Cubs. Associated Press. July 13, 2007
  66. ^ ESPN - Cuban on possibly buying Cubs: 'Opportunity I couldn't let slip by'
  67. ^ Report: Cubs cut number of bids to at least three, including Cuban. ESPN. July 24, 2008.
  68. ^ "Report: New football league on the way". NBC Sports. May 30, 2007. 
  69. ^ "First and Long — Very Long". New York Times. June 3, 2007. 
  70. ^ "Cuban sees bright future for MMA". ESPN/Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-09-14. 
  71. ^
  72. ^ a b Dancing With The Stars
  73. ^ Mark Cuban's Crush On Ayn Rand
  74. ^ My First Literary Crush
  75. ^ Mark Cuban - Libertarian
  76. ^ Advisory Council
  77. ^ "Ex-Soldier Charged in Killing of Iraqi Family". The Washington Post. July 3, 2006. p. A01. Retrieved on 2007-11-12. 
  78. ^ "De Palma defends redacted". Retrieved on 2007-12-13. 
  79. ^
  80. ^ My Presidential Endorsement
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^,0,7565577.story
  86. ^

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