Donald Sterling Biography

Donald Sterling is an American businessman who once owned the basketball franchise Los Angeles Clippers. Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, achievements, and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 26, 1934

Nationality: American

Famous: American Men California State University, Los Angeles

Age: 85 Years, 85 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Also Known As: Donald Tokowitz

Born Country: United States

Born in: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous as: Businessman

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Spouse/Ex-: Shelly Sterling (m. 1955)

father: Mickey Tokowitz

mother: Susan Tokowitz

children: Chris Sterling, Joanna Sterling, Scott Sterling

City: Chicago, Illinois

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: California State University, Los Angeles (B.A.), Southwestern Law School (J.D.)

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Donald Sterling is an American businessman best known as the owner of the professional basketball franchise Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association between 1981 and 2014. A professionally qualified lawyer, he began his career as a divorce and personal injury attorney. He has always been an extremely ambitious man. Soon, he ventured into real estate and became involved in both commercial and residential projects. With time, he became a prosperous businessman and proceeded to purchase the professional basketball franchise Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The businessman is known for his penchant for courting controversy. Throughout his career, he has faced multiple lawsuits due to his racist and discriminatory comments. He has also been accused of sexual harassment.

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  • Donald Sterling began his career as an independently-practicing divorce and personal injury attorney. He soon ventured into real estate business, which he began with the purchase of a 26-unit apartment in Beverly Hills. In 1960, he purchased the Lesser Towers, now known as the Sterling International Towers. His other major property dealings include the lease of the California Bank Building, Beverly Hills. It was estimated that he owned 162 properties across Los Angeles by 2014.
  • In 1981, Donald Sterling bought the American professional basketball team San Diego Clippers (later renamed Los Angeles Clippers) for $12.5 million. Over the years, he signed in several veteran players like Elton Brand, Tim Thomas, Baron Davis and Cuttino Mobley into the franchise. In 2014, his wife Shelly arrived at an agreement for the Sterling Family Trust to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to American businessman Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
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Controversies & Scandals
  • In 1996, a former employee of his, Christine Jasky, who worked for Clippers, alleged that he demanded sexual favors from her and asked her to recruit sexual partners for him. He countersued and they reached a mutual agreement in 1998. In 2014, a private recording of a conversation between Donald Sterling and his mistress V. Stiviano was leaked. In the recording, Sterling is heard making derogatory comments about black players. Following this, he was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million.
Family & Personal Life
  • Donald Sterling was born on 26th April 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants Mickey and Susan. He along with his family shifted to Los Angeles when he was two. He studied at Theodore Roosevelt High School and graduated in 1952. He later studied at the California State University at Los Angeles.
  • He graduated from the Southwestern University School of Law in 1960.Donald Sterling married Rochelle “Shelly” in 1955. The couple has three children: Scott, Chris and Joanna. His son, Scott, was found dead due to narcotic overdose at the age of 32. In 2012, the couple became estranged following family disputes, and subsequently in 2015, his attorney confirmed that Donald Sterling was filing for divorce. However, a year later, it was reported that the couple had resolved their differences and would not be proceeding with the divorce.
  • In 2012, he began treatment for prostate cancer. He was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease soon after. As he was deemed unfit to lead the financial affairs of the Sterling Family Trust, his wife began taking the decisions on important matters, including the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, on his behalf.
  • Donald Sterling’s birth name was Donald Tokowitz. He and his wife changed their surname to Sterling in 1959, stating that their peers had difficulty pronouncing the name. They also believed that the change would result in financial benefits.

How To Cite

Article Title
- Donald Sterling Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- November 08, 2019
Donald Sterling

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