Bruce Levenson is an American businessman, former NBA team owner, and philanthropist. He was a co-owner of Atlanta Hawks, LLC (formerly Atlanta Spirit LLC), which owns and operates the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and Philips Arena. Levenson has also served as the Hawks' Governor on the NBA Board of Governors since 2004. Levenson co-founded United Communications Group (UCG) in 1977. He was a founding board member and is on the Board of Directors for the publicly traded TechTarget, an IT industry media company.
|Born||October 1, 1949|
|Other names||Bruce D. Levenson|
|Known for||Co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks|
|Spouse(s)||Karen Boyarsky Levenson|
Early life and educationEdit
Bruce Levenson was born to a Jewish family in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He later attended college at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated from law school at American University. While attending law school at night, Levenson began his journalism career at the Washington Star.
Levenson co-founded United Communications Group (UCG) with Ed Peskowitz in 1977. Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Levenson and Peskowitz started the company in Levenson's apartment, publishing a newsletter, Oil Express, focusing on developments in the oil industry. UCG acquired other newsletters and launched databases including Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). UCG was a privately held business information company that specialized in data, news, and analysis for healthcare, energy, mortgage banking, technology, telecommunications, and other industries. UCG also owned and operated GasBuddy, a mobile application that assists drivers in finding local low gas prices.
In 2004, Atlanta Spirit LLC, now known as Atlanta Hawks LLC, was formed to buy the Atlanta Hawks from Turner Broadcasting. Levenson and Ed Peskowitz are majority partners of Atlanta Hawks LLC, a group of businessmen who collectively own the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team and Philips Arena. The purchase originally included the Atlanta Thrashers as well, but the group sold the NHL team in 2011. Levenson was the team's managing partner and a member of the NBA Board of Governors.
In 2012, Levenson hired Danny Ferry as the Hawks general manager and president of basketball operations. Previously, Ferry played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and later served as the general manager for the Cavaliers and was the vice president of operations for the San Antonio Spurs before going to the Hawks.
In March 2014, Levenson and his wife accompanied the Hawks basketball team and staff to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Levenson's mother-in-law Irene Boyarsky, a Holocaust survivor, also attended the trip with the team. Levenson spoke with the team about her experiences before and during the tour.
Later in 2014, Levenson announced his plans to sell his share of the ownership group after self-reporting an email sent in August 2012 discussing the Hawks African-American fan base. Levenson coordinated the sale of the team through the help of an investment banking firm.
Levenson is a founding board member and on the Board of Directors of TechTarget. The company spun out of development under UCG and Levenson served as a director of the company from its founding in 1999 until 2012.
Levenson was an adviser for BIA Digital Partners, a private equity firm. He has also was on the Board of Directors of the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA), and was inducted into the Software and Information Industry Association's Hall of Fame in 1997 with Ed Peskowitz for their work with UCG.
Levenson has also been an active participant in various philanthropic organizations such as Community Foundation of Washington, D.C. and the Hoop Dreams Foundation. Previously, he served as president of the Washington chapter of I Have a Dream Foundation, an organization helping low-income children pursue higher education.
Levenson is a founding donor to the U.S. Holocaust Museum and funds the Museum's Bringing the Lessons Home program, which teaches inner city students the lessons of the Holocaust and trains them to be tour guides at the Museum. His mother-in-law is a survivor of The Holocaust. He has also made significant donations to the SEED Foundation and Seeds of Peace. Levenson supports various other Jewish causes including Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute, and BBYO, a Jewish-American youth movement.
In 2010, Levenson and his wife spearheaded the development of the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Maryland and provided seed funding to the institution that educates students on how to run nonprofit organizations and engages the university to inform and motivate philanthropic activities. The University later launched the Do Good Institute, which works to find the next generation of nonprofit leaders. It was established through $75 million of state funding and donations from the Levenson Family.
In April 2013, Levenson was one of 100 prominent American Jews who sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to "work closely" with Secretary of State John Kerry "to devise pragmatic initiatives, consistent with Israel's security needs, which would represent Israel's readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace."
In 2015, Levenson and his wife Karen were chairs of the John F. Kennedy Center's Concert Against Hate in Washington, D.C.. The concert, benefiting the Anti-Defamation League, pays tribute to individuals who have stood up to hatred and bigotry. The event established the "Levenson Family Defender of Democracy Award", which recognizes public servants who act courageously in defense of our democratic values. The first award was given to Mayor Michael Signer of Charlottesville.
- Michael Lee (11 September 2014). "A blunder-filled era for Atlanta Hawks ownership nears its end". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Bruce Levenson, Managing Partner and NBA Governor". National Basketball Association. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Nick Greene (19 April 2014). "How the Owners of All 30 NBA Teams Made Their Money". Mental Floss. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Eliott C. McLaughlin (8 September 2014). "Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson to sell team after racially charged e-mail". CNN. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "TechTarget" (PDF). 11 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Haaretz: "Bruce Levenson to sell Atlanta Hawks over racist e-mail – Move comes after Levenson, a noted philanthropist who has donated to organizations including Birthright Israel, wrote an 'inappropriate and offensive' email concerning African American spectators." by Kevin Murphy September 8, 2014
- "Keynote Speakers". BBYO. March 2014. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Who is Hawks owner Bruce Levenson?". 11 Alive: Atlanta. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Michael Lee (7 September 2014). "Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson will sell team after sending 'offensive' e-mail". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Thomas Heath (25 October 2010). "The business behind the D.C. area men who own Atlanta's Hawks and Thrashers franchises". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Angel Abcede (1 March 2013). "OPIS Takes It to Street With GasBuddy Acquisition". CSPnet. Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers sold to Atlanta Spirit LLC". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 16 September 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed talked with 6 Hawks suitors". USA Today. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Thrashers headed to Winnipeg". ESPN. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Chris Broussard (25 June 2012). "Hawks hire Danny Ferry as GM". ESPN. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Atlanta Hawks hire former Cavalier Danny Ferry as general manager". Cleveland.com. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Atlanta Hawks visit Holocaust museum in D.C." HAARETZ. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Jeff Zillgitt (30 March 2014). "Hawks take 'surreal' trip to Holocaust Memorial Museum". USA Today. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Nathan Guttman (30 March 2014). "Atlanta Hawks Visit Holocaust Museum in Washington". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- MATTHEW MCKNIGHT (12 September 2014). "Beyond Bruce Levenson". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Andrew Keh (7 September 2014). "Views on Race Again Prompt an N.B.A. Sale". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (8 September 2014). "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Bruce Levenson Isn't a Racist; He's a Businessman". Time. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Jason Whitlock (9 September 2014). "Levenson is anything but racist". ESPN. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin disbands team's biz ambassadors". SaportaReport. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "TechTarget Inc, Form 424B4, Filing Date May 17, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "Advisors- Bruce D. Levenson". BIA Digital Partners. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Specialized Information Publishers Foundation (SIPF)". Software and Information Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-02. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "BENEFACTORS- $50,000 or more". Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "UCG Ownership". UCG Holdings. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Bringing the Lessons Home". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Tablet "Atlanta Hawks Visit United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Coach Mike Budenholzer: “Hopefully in some small way we can make sure things like that never happen again.” by Elissa Goldstein March 31, 2014
- "Seed Supporters" (PDF). Seed Foundation. June 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- The SEED Foundation (PDF) (Report). The SEED Foundation. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Seeds of Peace 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Seeds of Peace. 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Students Make a Difference with $10,000 Grant to Childhood Cancer Organizations". School of Public Policy. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Who We Are". The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Archived from the original on 21 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "21st Annual ADL In Concert Against Hate". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Anti-Defamation League In Concert Against Hate". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- ADL In Concert Against Hate