This Day in Black History: Oct. 21, 1989

Peter Bynoe, partner and chief operating officer of Loop Capital Markets, speaks at the Bloomberg Dealmaker Summit in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. The third Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit brings the biggest rainmakers in mergers and acquisitions and private equity to look at deal flow, leveraged buyouts and initial public offering activity from a sector-specific view, exploring, health care, technology and sports amidst the impending U.S. elections. (Photo: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

This Day in Black History: Oct. 21, 1989

Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe become the first African-American owners of a professional basketball team on Oct. 21, 1989.

Published October 21, 2013

Peter Bynoe, pictured above, along with Bertram M. Lee were the first African-American owners of a major league sports franchise.  (Photo: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe made sports history as the first African-American owners of a major league sports franchise on Oct. 21, 1989, when they purchased the NBA team Denver Nuggets for $65 million.

The two business owners from Chicago received backing from media executive Robert Wussler. Lee and Bynoe and their investors put up $8 million, giving them 37.5 percent ownership of the team. Through the deal, they co-managed the team. 

A previous deal fell through on Oct. 10 of that year when Lee and Bynoe failed to raise enough capital to complete the sale. Lee was 50 at the time of of the purchase and a banker and broadcasting executive. Bynoe, who was 38, was a real estate developer. 

Currently Bynoe is the CEO of Rewards Network, a restaurant marketing company. Lee died of a brain aneurysm, Oct. 7, 2003, in Washington, D.C.

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Written by Natelege Whaley

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