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Irv Levin

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Title: Irv Levin  
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Subject: Boston Celtics, Ballantine Brewery, Buffalo Braves, Kermit Washington, John Y. Brown, Jr., 1976 NBA Finals, List of professional sports team owners
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Irv Levin

Irving H. Levin (born September 8, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois, died March 20, 1996 in Brentwood, California [1]) was an American film producer and business executive with the National General Corporation. He was also the owner of the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics and San Diego Clippers.

Levin began his film career as the president of Filmmakers Releasing Organization, a film distribution company founded by independent producers Collier Young and Ida Lupino.[2][3] When American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, Inc. decided to expand to film production in 1956, Levin was named the first president of the Am-Par Picture Corporation.[4] The company dissolved in 1959 and he moved to Atlantic Pictures Corp.[5]

In 1961, Levin joined National Theaters & Television, Inc. as a vice president.[6] In 1962 Eugene V. Klein restructured the company into National General Corp., where Levin served as the executive vice president from 1962–1969 and president and CEO from 1969-1972. Levin was also president of NGC's entertainment assets, which included National General Pictures and The Chinese Theatre.

In April 1972, Levin and attorney Harold A. Lipton purchased the Boston Celtics for $3.7 Million. The sale was rejected by the NBA as a result of conflict of interest concerns due to fellow National General directors Sam Schulman and Eugene V. Klein owning the Seattle SuperSonics.[7] Levin and Lipton were forced to sell their shares to Robert Schmertz that May for $3.95 Million with an option for the two to repurchase half of the Celtics' stock.[8] After two years of litigation, Levin and Lipton were able exercise their option.[9] Ten months later they purchased the remaining stock from Leisure Technology.

In 1978, Levin and Lipton swapped their shares in the Celtics with John Y. Brown, Jr. and Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. for their shares in the Buffalo Braves. The Braves were relocated to San Diego, where the became the San Diego Clippers.[10] On May 4, 1981 Levin sold the Clippers to Donald Sterling for $13.5 million.[11]

Films produced by Levin

References

Preceded by
Ballantine Brewery
Boston Celtics principal owner
April 1972-May 1972
Succeeded by
Robert Schmertz
Preceded by
Robert Schmertz
Boston Celtics principal owner
1975-1978
Succeeded by
John Y. Brown, Jr.
Preceded by
John Y. Brown, Jr.
Buffalo Braves/San Diego Clippers principal owner
1978–1981
Succeeded by
Donald Sterling

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