In 1959 Dr. Jerry Buss, a young chemist with vision, invested $1,000 of his own money (and several thousand more he borrowed from relatives) in a West Los Angeles apartment house. Looking back, that was the first brick in a multihundred-million-dollar real estate empire.
In fact, just 20 years later Buss paid Jack Kent Cooke $67.5 million to acquire the NBA Los Angeles Lakers; NHL Kings; and the 17,505-seat L.A. Forum. Jerry also owns a pro-tennis franchise, the L.A. Strings, plus the arena in which the NBA Indiana Pacers play their games.
The Buss business philosophy, as printed in the Lakers yearbook, reads as follows:
''Education gives you freedom. Words like disadvantaged are ones that are used today. When I grew up, we were poor. And I realized that most of the kids who grew up in coal mining camps like Kemmerer, Wyo., stayed in those towns and worked in the mines. Freedom became the most important thing in my life and education became my way out.
''I'm grateful I was born in this country. In America any person can get as much education as he or she wants. And the more education you have, the more freedom you have.
''It is simple, although not easy, to become a millionaire. Get a part-time job on Saturdays and do it for 10 years. Then take that money and invest it at 12 percent, wait 10 more years, and you're a millionaire. However, most people don't want to give up their free time for 10 years. I've been working Saturdays since I was 16.''