Larry Weinberg, pro-Israel stalwart who brought the NBA to Portland, dies


(JTA) — Larry Weinberg, a real-estate developer who helped bring the National Basketball Association to Portland, has died. He was 92.

Weinberg was one of the original three owners of the Portland Trail Blazers. He became majority owner and president of the team in 1975.

Weinberg’s passing comes less than three months after the death of Paul Allen, who bought the team from Weinberg in 1988 for $70 million. Today the team is worth an estimated $1.3 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

Weinberg’s death was announced Wednesday by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

A World War II veteran and a pro-Israel activist, “Larry was instrumental in ensuring that AIPAC had a regional presence throughout the country and in encouraging pro-Israel supporters to actively engage in the political process,” the group said in a statement.

In a tweet the Trail Blazers said the team “was saddened to hear of the passing of our original owner,” the Associated Press reported.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said on Twitter that Weinberg was “a true mensch…and like many, I will mourn his passing.”

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