Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss died early this morning in LA. He had been battling an undisclosed stomach problem for the last few months and only recently had it been made public that he was also battling cancer. Buss made waves in the sports industry in 1979 when he purchased the L.A. Kings, L.A. Lakers and The Forum for $67.5 million.
The biggest problem in reporting Jerry Buss’ death is trying to figure out if the owner was 79 or 80 years-old. The main stream media has never contradicted itself in such a way as they have this morning while reporting on Buss. A handful of reputable websites and newspapers are reporting that Buss was 79 years-old while another number of sites and newspapers are claiming he was 80.
There has been digging, by both myself and @BustedCoverage, trying to come up with the actual age of Buss. According to this report by the OC Register, Buss listed his birthdate in an interview transcript from 2006 that would make him 79 today. But according to this LA Times Magazine interview in May 2009, Buss is reportedly 76, which simple math tells us he would be 80 years-old today. (His birthday was January 27)**
My best guess is that Jerry Buss died today at the age of 80 years-old, not 79. Hopefully someone in the main stream media can find out for sure and respect the honor of the fallen owner.
UPDATE: Boom! Thanks to commentor CorkGaines, we now know that Buss was 80 years old when he died yesterday. According to a 1940 census in Wyoming, Buss was recorded as being 7 years old in April of 1940. Therefore, since we know his birthday was in January, we know he was 80 years old when he passed yesterday. Rest in peace, Jerry.
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**Thanks to @_Scriv_ for giving me a heads up that I left his birthday out of the post. I can see how that would make the simple math not so simple.