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Jack Kent Cooke

FROM THE Footprints COLLECTION

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Jack Kent Cooke’s sports empire peaked in 1992 when his Redskins won the Super Bowl 37-24. The man who’d re-invented Toronto radio was light years away from his days as a door-to-door salesman.

Cooke’s sports collection began in 1951 when he bought the Maple Leafs Triple A baseball team.

He helped bring about the era of “Showtime” in Los Angeles basketball by signing such greats as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson after he bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. In 1966, Cooke also acquired the Los Angeles Kings, which were a new expansion franchise in the NHL at the time. He built the “fabulous” Great Western Forum in 1968 to house his teams.

By 1974, football had caught Cooke’s eye and so he became majority owner of the Washington Redskins of the NFL. In 1978, he would finally move to the Washington area and, as a result, sold his stake in the Lakers and the Kings the following year for $67.5 million, then, the largest business transaction in sports history.

He died in his own bed just shy of his 85th birthday.

Jack Kent Cooke of Hamilton, Ontario. A Footprint in the boardroom of Canadian sport.

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