CUBAN, MARK (1958– ), U.S. businessman, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his paternal grandparents having come to America from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and his maternal grandparents from near the Austrian/Russian/Polish border. Cuban began exhibiting acumen for business as a 12-year-old, when he sold garbage bags door-to-door. Attending business school at Indiana University, he put himself through school by giving disco dancing lessons and starting a chain letter that helped cover one semester's tuition. In 1983 Cuban co-founded Micro Solutions, a leading National Systems Integrator, later selling it to Compu Serve, and then, in 1995, co-founded, a leading provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet, selling it to Yahoo\! in July 1999. Now a billionaire, Cuban purchased the Dallas Mavericks for $283 million on January 14, 2000, and immediately changed the face of the organization by becoming the first owner in team sports to encourage fan interaction through e-mail on his personal computer. His outspoken personality also got him into trouble with the National Basketball Association, which levied heavy fines for his criticism of officials and the league itself, totaling more than one million dollars. But Cuban's whatever-it-takes attitude and commitment to winning resulted in the team's finishing his first season, 2000–2001, with a 53–29 record and the team's first playoff appearance in 11 years. In 2001–2002, the team finished with a franchise-best record of 57–25 and an NBA-best road record of 27–14, advancing to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. In his third season the team went 60–22, and 52–30 in 2003–2004. "I spend every day thinking about the Mavericks," Cuban said. "That includes time dreaming about the Mavs while sleeping." (Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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