Mark Cuban: How the Dallas Mavericks Owner Made His Billions

Nov. 29, 2023, 6:30 a.m. Business

Read time estimation: 5 minutes. Mark Cuban



Mark Cuban is an American businessman and investor. He is the owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Dallas Mavericks, co-founder of AXS TV, and chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet. He is also a "shark" investor on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank. In 2011, Cuban was ranked No. 209 on Forbes magazine's list of "World's Richest People", with a net worth of $2.6 billion. In 2012, he ranked No. 181 on the Forbes 400 list, with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Norton Cuban, an automobile upholsterer, and Shirley, a homemaker. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Cuban, immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s from Cuba. Cuban's maternal grandparents, who also arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, originally from Minsk, Belarus. Cuban's mother was born in the Bronx, New York.

Raised in Mount Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Cuban graduated from Mount Lebanon High School in 1981. He attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he studied business administration. While at Indiana, he worked as a bartender at a bar called The Back Door Pub. He was fired from his job after he told his boss that he would be making more money than him in a few years.

In 1982, Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas, where he first found work as a computer salesman for Your Business Software. He was later hired by Federation of Software Companies, Inc. as a salesperson. In 1983, Cuban started his own company, MicroSolutions, with partner Jim Lanning. The company was a systems integrator and software reseller.

MicroSolutions was acquired by CompuServe Information Services in 1990 for $6 million. Cuban was retained as the company's sales director. He later told Forbes magazine that the day he closed the deal to sell MicroSolutions, he went to a movie and then out for a steak dinner, where he spent his last $30.

After the sale of MicroSolutions, Cuban diversified his wealth to avoid the mistakes made by many dot-com millionaires who lost their fortunes when the technology bubble burst in the early 2000s. He purchased shares in a multitude of businesses, including an interest in the Dallas Mavericks basketball team in 2000.

In January 2000, Cuban invested $280,000 in an online audio and video streaming startup called Broadcast.com. The company was founded by fellow Indiana University alumnus, Todd Wagner.

Broadcast.com went public in July 1998, and by the time Cuban sold his shares in 1999, the company was valued at $5.7 billion. When the sale was finalized, Cuban's stake was worth approximately $1.3 billion.

In April 2004, Cuban officially became the majority owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, after agreeing to purchase a majority stake in the team from then-owner Ross Perot, Jr. for $285 million.

Cuban has been credited with turning the Mavericks into a successful franchise. The team went from being valued at $325 million in 2000 to $1.15 billion in 2014, according to Forbes.

In addition to his work with the Mavericks, Cuban has also been involved in a number of other business ventures. He is the co-founder of AXS TV, a cable television network launched in 2012. He is also the chairman of HDNet, an HDTV cable network launched in 2001.

Cuban is also a "shark" investor on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank. He has invested in a number of businesses through the show, including the ice cream company, Sweet Pete's.

Cuban is an active angel investor and has made investments in a number of startups, including the sports website, FanDuel, and the online fashion retailer, ModCloth.

Cuban has also been involved in philanthropy and has donated to a number of causes, including the families of victims of the September 11th attacks and Hurricane Katrina. He has also given to charities such as the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In 2011, Cuban was ranked No. 209 on Forbes magazine's list of "World's Richest People", with a net worth of $2.6 billion. In 2012, he ranked No. 181 on the Forbes 400 list, with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

Cuban resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Tiffany, and their three children.

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