Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at 77

Stern, who is credited with leading NBA through a period of growth in the 1980s, dies several weeks after suffering brain hemorrhage.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

David Stern
David Stern

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner David Stern, who has been widely credited with leading the league through a period of tremendous growth in the 1980s, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 77.

Stern, who retired from his position in 2014, had been hospitalized since suffering a brain hemorrhage on December 17.

"For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Stern's successor, in a statement. "He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work."

"He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world," Silver added. "Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation."

Stern was born on September 22, 1942 in New York City. He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey in a Jewish family, and graduated Teaneck High School. Stern attended Rutgers University and graduated as a history student in 1963. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1966, and was admitted to the bar in New York later that year after passing the state's bar examination

Stern worked for the NBA for more than 40 years, beginning with his hiring as the league's general counsel in 1978. He became the league's executive vice president two years later and succeeded Larry O'Brien as commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. He remained in the job for the next 30 years before stepping down in 2014.