Mark Cuban was born on July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Shirley and Norton Cuban. Norton Cuban was an automobile upholsterer and his grandfather Morris Chobanisky, emigrated from Russia and changed the family name from “Chobanisky” to “Cuban” after landing on Ellis Island. Morris made his living by selling merchandise out of the back of his truck, which managed to put food on the table and a roof over his family’s head.
At the age of 12, Mark had his first foray into the business when he started selling sets of garbage bags in order to save up for a pair of very expensive basketball shoes. While attending Mount Lebanon High School, Mark held many different jobs as well as business ventures, he worked as a bartender, Disco Dancing Instructor, sold stamps and coins and billed himself as a party promoter, to name a few.
While still attending High School, in his junior year, Mark started attending college classes at the University of Pittsburgh, studying psychology. He skipped his Senior year altogether to enroll full time at the University of Pittsburgh. After his freshman year he transferred to the Indiana University and graduated in in 1981 from the Indiana Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in Business administration. He chose Kelley School of Business on the sole reason that it had the least expensive tuition out of the top 10 schools.
During his college years Mark continued to make money in order to pay his tuition by giving dancing lessons, which soon led to him hosting large dance parties at the Bloomington National Guard armory.
Upon graduating from college, Mark Cuban moved back to Pittsburgh where he got a job at Mellon Bank, as they were in the midst of switching their banks system to computers. Kelly spent this time working with computers and networking, but soon grew tired of Pittsburgh and a year later, in 1982 he packed his bags and moved to Dallas, Tx.
When Cuban arrived in Dallas, he worked briefly as a bartender, until he landed a job with Your Business Software, which was one of the first computer software dealers in Dallas. Less than a year later he was let go, due to his meeting with a client to procure new business instead of opening the store.
Using this opportunity to advance himself, Cuban opened up his own computer software and consulting business called Microsolutions. He was able to maintain his business mostly through the support of clients and customers he had garnered while working for Your Business Software. With the help of his intuitive knowledge of business and sheer determination, he was able to build his Micro solutions business up so successfully that in 1990, he sold the firm to Compuserve for a reported sum of $6 Million, pocketing almost two and a half million after taxes.
Mark Cuban was not finished with his business ventures, however, and in 1995 he and a friend who attended college at the Indiana college became partners in a business they named Audionet. Audionet was mainly formed on the bases of listening to the Indiana Hoosier College basketball games through a live web stream. The company started with only a single computer and high speed ISDN line.
As with his previous venture with Micro solutions, Cuban was able to develop AudioNet into a thriving business, changing its name to Broadcast.com in 1998. After going public, AudioNet shares reached over $200 a share and by 1999 it was reporting over $13 million in sales in the second quarter. It was then acquired by Yahoo for almost $6 billion in Yahoo stock.
Cuban, ever the businessman was not content to lay back and enjoy his wealth, but on January 4, 2000 he took some of the proceeds from his share of the stock to purchase a majority stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for a sum of around $285 Million from H. Ross Perot Jr.
When Cuban took over the Mavericks in 2000, they had a record of only 40 percent wins with a playoff record of 21-32, but with Maverick at the helm, the team soon started seeing an increase in wins, setting a record of 57 wins the following year and making it to the NBA finals in 2006 before losing to Miami Heat, however in June 2011, the Mavericks met the Miami Heat in the Finals again and took the NBA Title.
While with the Mavericks, Cuban has been the central point of many controversies and has garnered much media attention through the years. He has been fined over $2 million by the NBA for his controversial opinions, name calling and other actions, but has stated in an interview that he matches each fine with a charitable donation of equal amount.
When reporters questioned whether he was nuts for the way he acted, Cuban quipped, “”Before you guys were writing about me in the sports page, people were calling me crazy in the computer industry. People were calling me crazy in the systems integration industry. People said I was lucky…The more people think I’m crazy and out of my mind, typically, the better I do.”
Cuban is far from finished, as he continues to make new acquisitions and moves and shakes the business world, with his knowledge and over the top personality, Cuban has amassed not only wealth and fame, but also the admiration of many for his honesty and his trademark of not holding anything back, whether in business or in front of the media, he continues pushing the bubble and making waves.