(UPDATE) A remembrance: LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss, 80, dies (Photos)

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UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' owner who shepherded the NBA team to 10 championships from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday. He was 80.

He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant.

Buss had been hospitalized for most of the past 18 months while undergoing cancer treatment, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said. With his condition worsening in recent weeks, several prominent former Lakers visited Buss to say goodbye.

RELATED: Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss leaves legacy in sports and business

Plans are in the works for a memorial service and the team plans a commemoration before Wednesday night's game at Staples Center, Steiner said. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Under Buss' leadership since 1979, the Lakers became Southern California's most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour. Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talented players and basketball minds during his Hall of Fame tenure, from Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard.

Few owners in sports history can approach Buss' accomplishments with the Lakers, who made the NBA finals 16 times during his nearly 34 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. With 1,786 victories, the Lakers easily are the NBA's winningest franchise since he bought the club, which is now run largely by Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss, two of his six children.

Buss always referred to the Lakers as his extended family, and his players rewarded his fanlike excitement with devotion, friendship and two hands full of championship rings. Working with front-office executives Jerry West, Bill Sharman and Mitch Kupchak, Bussspent lavishly to win his titles despite lacking a huge personal fortune, often running the NBA's highest payroll while also paying high-profile coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

Always an innovative businessman, Buss  paid for the Lakers through both their wild success and his own groundbreaking moves to raise revenue. He co-founded a basic-cable sports television network and sold the naming rights to the Forum at times when both now-standard strategies were unusual, further justifying his induction to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Buss rarely appeared in public without at least one attractive, much younger woman on his arm at USC football games, high-stakes poker tournaments, hundreds of boxing matches promoted by Buss at the Forum — and, of course, Lakers games from his private box at Staples Center , which was built under his watch. In failing health recently, Buss hadn't attended a Lakers game this season.

Buss earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at age 24 and had careers in aerospace and real estate development before getting into sports. With money from his real-estate ventures and a good bit of creative accounting, Buss bought the then-struggling Lakers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and both clubs' arena — the Forum — from Jack Kent Cooke in a $67.5 million deal that was the largest sports transaction in history at the time.

Buss also helped change televised sports by co-founding the Prime Ticket network in 1985, receiving a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 for his work in television. Breaking the contemporary model of subscription services for televised sports, Buss' Prime Ticket put beloved broadcaster Chick Hearn and the Lakers' home games on basic cable.

Buss also sold the naming rights to the Forum in 1988 to Great Western Savings & Loan — another deal that was ahead of its time.

Born in Salt Lake City, Gerald Hatten Buss was raised in poverty in Wyoming before improving his life through education. He also grew to love basketball, describing himself as an "overly competitive but underly endowed player."

After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Buss attended USC for graduate school. He became a chemistry professor and worked as a chemist for the Bureau of Mines before carving out a path to wealth and sports prominence.

The former mathematician's fortune grew out of a $1,000 real-estate investment in a West Los Angeles apartment building with partner Frank Mariani, an aerospace engineer and co-worker.

Heavily leveraging his fortune and various real-estate holdings, Buss purchased Cooke's entire Los Angeles sports empire in 1979, including a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County . Buss cited his love of basketball as the motivation for his purchase, and he immediately worked to transform the Lakers — who had won just one NBA title since moving west from Minneapolis in 1960 — into a star-powered endeavor befitting Hollywood.

"One of the first things I tried to do when I bought the team was to make it an identification for this city, like Motown in Detroit," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. "I try to keep that identification alive. I'm a real Angeleno. I want us to be part of the community."

Below is a sampling of reaction on social media to Buss' death:

 

UPDATE 11:06 a.m.: Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, 80, has died.

Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. He was  hospitalized last week and was in intensive care for treatment of cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said.

The Lakers posted a statement on the basketball team's website:

Dr. Jerry Buss, longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, passed away today at 5:55 am after a long illness. He was 80 years old.

“We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community,” a statement released on behalf of the Buss family said.

Dr. Buss had been hospitalized much of the past 18 months in a battle which “showed his amazing strength and will to live. It was our father’s often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy,” the statement concluded.

He is survived by sons Johnny, Jim, Joey and Jesse and daughters Jeanie Buss and Janie Drexel, all of Southern California; eight grandchildren; former wife JoAnn of Las Vegas; half sister Susan Hall of Phoenix; half brother Micky Brown of Scottsdale; and stepbrother Jim Brown of Star Valley, Wyoming.

Funeral and memorial service arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.

RELATED:  The impact of LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss on the NBA & beyond

NBA Commissioner  David Stern also issued a statement this morning on the passing  of Jerry Buss:

“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come. More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

There is more reaction  on social media, with many expressions of condolences and well wishes (see below). They include fans, politicians and former Lakers. The team has also posted an extensive photo gallery of Buss throughout the years.

PREVIOUSLY: Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, 80, has died.

Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. He was  hospitalized last week and was in intensive care for treatment of cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said.

Reaction has been swift on social media, with many expressions of condolences and well wishes (see below). They include fans, politicians and former Lakers.

In 19 years in Los Angeles before Jerry Buss was the owner, the Lakers won one NBA title. In 33 seasons with Buss driving the bus, they’ve won 10 titles.

That’s all the math a fan needs – but it’s not all the math that counts.

Jerry Buss – Dr. Jerry Buss, as he preferred – spent $67.5 million back in 1979 to buy the Lakers, the Kings, the Forum and a ranch from then-team owner Jack Kent Cooke.

It was, at the time, the biggest sports purchase ever, prompted by a big divorce settlement Cooke had to pay.

Buss sold the Kings in the 1980s and the Forum in the 1990s. But he kept the Lakers.

Today, says Forbes magazine, the Lakers alone are worth a cool $1 billion.

In recent years, Buss stepped back from his once-prominent role as Laker owner to let sons Jim and John and daughter Jeanie run the team.

But even when Buss was actively involved in running the Lakers, his most important contribution to the team's remarkable success was hiring star coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson and star front office bosses Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak – and then letting them work.

They picked the players; Buss picked them.

That may have been Jerry Buss’s greatest talent – he hired talent, then got out of the way.

Jerry Buss' age has been changed from an earlier version. He was 80.

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