Jerry M. Reinsdorf (born February 25, 1936) is a CPA, lawyer and an owner of the MLB's Chicago White Sox and the NBA's Chicago Bulls. He started his professional life as a tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. He has been the head of the White Sox and Bulls for over 20 years. He made his initial fortune in real estate, taking advantage of the Frank Lyon Co. v. United States decision by the United States Supreme Court which allowed economic owners of realty to sell property and lease it back, while transferring the tax deduction for depreciation to the title owner. As the owner and Chairman of the Chicago Bulls since 1985, he has turned the franchise into a lucrative business that won six NBA Championships in the 1990s (1991-1993 and 1996-1998). He is controversial for his involvement (along with Jerry Krause) in breaking up the championship team by not hiring back key personnel such as Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. He hired Jordan as a baseball player during his sabbatical from basketball. He also moved the Bulls from Chicago Stadium to the United Center. As a baseball owner since 1981, he has brought success to the White Sox franchise. The franchise made the playoffs in 1983 for the first time since 1959 and won the World Series in 2005 for the first time since 1917. He moved the White Sox from Comiskey Park to New Comiskey Park and then renamed the new park U.S. Cellular Field. In both sporting endeavors, he has developed a reputation as an anti-labor union hardliner. Since the early 1990s, he has been considered one of the most, if not the most, influential basketball owners. He has been influential in instituting the salary cap and revenue sharing. He has also shaped the modern era of basketball by organizing the lucrative internet arm of basketball. Reinsdorf was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, and he was the son of a sewing machine salesman. A life-long baseball fan who grew up in the shadows of Ebbets Field, Reinsdorf was in the stands the day Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier which prevented black players from serving on Major League teams. Reinsdorf earned a bachelor's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He subsequently moved to Chicago in 1957. Reinsdorf became a C.P.A. and lawyer as well as a registered mortgage underwriter and a certified review appraiser. He leveraged a full scholarship offer from the University of Chicago Law School into a scholarship from the Northwestern University School of Law. His first job after graduating from Northwestern in 1960 was a tax delinquency case of Bill Veeck who at the time owned the White Sox. In 1964, Reinsdorf went into private practice. He developed a specialty in real estate partnership tax shelters. He sold his business interests in the real estate partnership in 1973 and formed Balcor, which raised US$650 million to invest in buildings under construction. He sold Balcor in 1982 for $102 million to Shearson Lehman Brothers, the investment banking and brokerage arm of American Express. However, he continued to be President of the company for several years thereafter. In 1981 he was wealthy enough to purchase the White Sox for $19 million. The purchase was brokered by American National Bank who arranged for a limited partnership. He follows previous eccentric White Sox owners Charles Comiskey, who was known as a miser, and Veeck, who was known as a prankster who gutted the team by trading away promising prospects. Soon after buying the White Sox, he signed Greg Luzinski and Carlton Fisk. He also tripled the team promotional budget and increased the number of team scouts from 12 to 20. By the 1983 Major League Baseball season the White Sox made the playoffs with the best record in the Major Leagues. The team initially signed a television deal with the newly founded Sportsvision under the new leadership of Chairman Reinsdorf...
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