Jeffrey Loria


Jeffrey Loria

A New York art dealer specializing in 20th century modern masters, Jeffrey H. Loria is also owner of the Florida Marlins. Born November 20, 1940 [ [http://www.sun-sentinel.com/topic/economy-business-finance/tourism-leisure-industry/recreational-sporting-goods-industry/jeffrey-loria-PEBSL000173.topic Jeffrey Loria - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com ] ] and raised in Manhattan, Loria took an early interest in baseball, attending his first New York Yankees game in the late 1940s. Loria attended New York City's Stuyvesant High School, [cite magazine |url=http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/sports/features/n_9395/ |title=No, I'm the Boss |first=Chris |last=Smith |date=2003-10-27 |journal=New York Magazine | accessdate=2007-11-01] and Yale University, where he initially took pre-med courses. With a requirement to take a history class, Loria chose art history.

After college, he worked in a newly-established art-buying program for Sears, launched with the help of actor Vincent Price. In 1965, at the age of 24, he opened his private art dealing business, Jeffrey H. Loria & Co., on Manhattan's Upper East Side and wrote a book, "Collecting Original Art." His collection includes works by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore. Loria graduated from Columbia Business School in 1968 and published his second book," What's It All About Charlie Brown?," a look at life through the Peanuts comic strip (co-written with Pat K. Lynch). In 1989, Loria purchased the Oklahoma City 89ers, then a Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team won a championship in 1992. Loria sold the team in 1993 and began looking for a Major League team. Loria lost out to Peter Angelos in his bid to purchase the Baltimore Orioles in 1994. On December 9, 1999, he made a 24 percent investment in the Montreal Expos and became the managing general partner.

When a series of cash calls went unanswered, Loria ended up with 92.5 percent of the team. In 2001, Major League Baseball owners voted to contract two franchises, the Expos and Minnesota Twins a move that never occurred. In 2002, MLB spent $120 million to buy the Expos from Loria, who then paid $158.5 million, with the help of a $38.5 million loan from MLB, to John Henry for the Marlins. Henry bought the Boston Red Sox. Loria became the third owner of the Marlins on Feb. 15, 2002. His 14 Canadian partners, who own about 6 percent of the team, filed a racketeering suit against him in Miami federal court in July 2002 accusing him and baseball executives of trying to move or disband the Expos. In November 2004, an arbitration panel ruled against the partners. The Expos moved to Washington, D.C. in 2005 and became the Washington Nationals.

In 2003, the Marlins won their second World Series. Loria designed the 3 1/2 ounce championship rings that contain 228 white diamonds, 13 rubies and one teal diamond.

The franchise, which pays rent at Dolphin Stadium, has been trying for years to finance a new retractable roof ballpark. Without a stadium deal in place, Loria shed star players to pare down payroll to among baseball's lowest in 2005, and was given permission to explore options for relocating. But the team has since vowed to find a ballpark solution in South Florida. In 2006, Loria clashed with rookie manager Joe Girardi, whom he fired after the season. Girardi won Manager of the Year honors that year for keeping the young Marlins team competitive.

Loria, who still runs his art dealership, is a member of the board of directors of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in New York. He formerly served on the board of the Art Dealers Association of America. Loria, who splits time between homes in New York and South Florida, supports hospitals, educational institutions and museums around the world with charitable contributions.

References

External links

* [http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2004/0426/066.html "Forbes" article on Loria]
* [http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stark_jayson/1209605.html Time for Expos to leave Montreal]
* [http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2002/02/16/marlinsfire020216.html Loria Buys Marlins, Fires 60]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2547478 Loria talked out of firing Girardi]
* [http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/_news/news_350437.php Loria about to repeat history]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=2611516 Marlins Fire Girardi, Loria not in attendance]
* [http://www.yale.edu/opa/newsr/07-03-01-05.all.html Major Gift to Fund New Home for History of Art Center at Yale University]


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