Bruce Levenson owned the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks from 2004 to 2015, and in that time also owned the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers when he purchased the majority shares of the franchises. But Levenson has also been the longtime owner of a major media business, and is also a generous philanthropist. Levenson recently sold the Atlanta Hawks to Tony Ressler and company, a move that generated scrutiny at the high profit he received from the sale reports Forbes.com. Now, he and other former owners of the team are filing a lawsuit against AIG, the former insurance company for not paying out a claim they filed when they opted to buyout former team General Manager Danny Ferry’s contract.
As a businessman, Levenson has successfully run United Communications Group (UCG), a company he and his friend Ed Peskowitz started back in 1977. Levenson had gotten his bachelor’s in journalism while studying at Washington University in St. Louis, and he was working for a Washington D.C. local paper while attending law school. Soon, he and Peskowitz decided to run their own news outlet, and started off with a publication called Oil Express. They soon started other journals and buying other outlets, and that was the beginning of UCG. UCG later founded a technology research subsidiary called TechTarget, and a gas price app called GasBuddy.
Levenson made a name for himself as a philanthropist (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/undergrads-and-graduate-students-mastering-philanthropy-300038081.html) as chairman of several non-profit groups including Hoop Dreams and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation. Levenson also has donated to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and he also took the Atlanta Hawks’ team there in 2014 where his mother-in-law, a survivor of the event told her story to the players. Levenson is also a supporter of pro-Israel activist groups including the SEED Foundation, Birthright Israel and Seeds of Peace. He also founded the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership.