Bruce Levenson, NBA owner, philanthropist, Forbes billionaire and peace maker. Just like others in this era, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, Bruce Levenson co-founded his company, United Communications Group (UCG) (http://www.ucg.com/AboutUs/Ownership.aspx) in his apartment in 1977. Mr. Levenson focused on the oil industry with newsletters outlining the latest happenings of the time. UCG launched the database, Oil Price Information Service, (OPIS), which is the go to place for anything oil related such as wholesale prices for oil and petroleum refined products. That service created more transparency and honesty in the industry. While most of us may not have heard of OPIS many of us have heard of Gasbuddy.com which was spawned by the skyrocketing gas prices in 2004.
Mr. Bruce Levenson has not forgotten his Jewish roots by substantially contributing to such organizations as the Jewish Federation, Birthright Israel, Seeds of Peace and the SEED Foundation among others. He was also a founding donor to the Holocaust Museum partly influenced by his Mother-In-Law who was a survivor of that terrible era. In 2013 Mr. Levenson put his clout to work by being on of the 100 prominent American Jews to send letters to the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to work closely with Secretary of State John Kerry to iron out differences that stand in the way of peace and to make painful sacrifices if need be to bring peace in that war torn region of the world.
While many like to criticize the 1% as being disconnected, self gratifying and even Machiavellian in the actions and deeds. Mr. Levenson stands out as a person who had never forgotten his roots and how he came to be. It is men like Mr. Levenson who truly represent the self-made image of clawing your way up the entrepreneurial ladder, standing tall and never forgetting how you got there.