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Larry Weinberg (January 23, 1926 – January 1, 2019)[1] was an American real estate developer who was one of the founders of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.

Larry Weinberg
Born(1926-01-23)January 23, 1926
DiedJanuary 1, 2019(2019-01-01) (aged 92)
EducationCornell University
University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
OccupationReal estate developer
Known forOwner of the Portland Trail Blazers


Born to a Jewish family in New York City, Weinberg served in the US 6th Army Group as an infantryman during World War II. He was severely wounded in combat in France and spent over a year recovering in a US military hospital.[2] He attended Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and the University of California at Los Angeles.[2] In 1948, Weinberg founded the Larwin Company serving as its CEO until he retired. By the late 1960s, Larwin Company became one of the largest privately owned housing companies in the United States[2] until merging it into CNA Financial Corporation where it became one of the three largest housing producers with annual development of 8,000 residential units.[2] He went on to serve as a Member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of CNA from 1969 to 1980.[2] In 1950, Weinberg founded Com-Air Products, Inc. which designed, manufactured, and assembled the hydraulics, pneumatics and fuel assemblies used in jet engines and aircraft.[2]

In 1970, Weinberg, Herman Sarkowsky, and Robert Schmertz paid $3.7 million to secure an NBA expansion team for Portland.[3] Weinberg became president of the Trail Blazers in 1975, replacing Sarkowsky, who turned his attention to the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. Two years later, the Trail Blazers won an NBA championship. Weinberg served as team president until 1988, when he sold the team to Paul Allen.[1] The Trail Blazers honored Weinberg in 1992 by retiring a #1 jersey with his name. Five players have since received permission from Weinberg to wear #1: Rod Strickland, Derek Anderson, Jarrett Jack, Armon Johnson and Ike Diogu.

In addition to his work in basketball and real estate, Weinberg has served as president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.[4] He was awarded the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.[2]

Weinberg wife Barbi was a founder of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy,[5] Weinberg died on January 1, 2019 at age 92.[6]


  1. ^ a b Los Angeles Times: "Trail Blazers Are Sold to Seattle Businessman" June 1, 1988
  2. ^ a b c d e f g California Homebuilding Foundation: "2006 Nominee Lawrence Weinberg - Founder Americal Management Company, Inc., Columbia Group & Larwin Group Companies retrieved April 25, 2015
  3. ^ Oregon Live: "Herman Sarkowsky, original co-owner of Trail Blazers who saved franchise with a timely phone call, passes away in Seattle" by Mike Zacchino November 3, 2014
  4. ^ Alterman, Eric (October 23, 2006). "AIPAC Runs Right". Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  5. ^ "Mission and History". Washington Institute website Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Freeman, Joe (January 2, 2019). "Larry Weinberg, an original owner of Portland Trail Blazers, dies at 92". Retrieved January 3, 2019.

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