Don Carter (businessman)

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Donald J. Carter
Don Carter.jpg
Don Carter in trademark cowboy hat at a Dallas Mavericks game, April 4, 2006
BornJuly 5, 1933
Arkansas, U.S.
Died (aged 84)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other namesDon Carter
OccupationInvestor, business leader
Known forFounder of Dallas Mavericks & Dallas Sidekicks
Spouse(s)Linda Carter
ChildrenDonald J. "Joey" Carter, Jr., Ronald L. Carter, Christi Carter-Urschel

Donald J. Carter (July 5, 1933 – February 14, 2018) was an American investor and businessman who was a founding owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).[1][2][3] At the time of his death he was a minority partner in the Mavericks and a familiar courtside presence at the teams home games, always wearing a cowboy hat.

Early life[edit]

Carter was born into a poor family in Arkansas on July 5, 1933.[4][5] However, by 1957, his mother, Mary Crowley, made a fortune in a direct marketing interior decoration business, known as Home Interiors and Gifts.[5][6] The business was sold to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and netted Carter millions of dollars.[7]


Carter, along with Norm Sonju, founded an NBA expansion team, the Dallas Mavericks, in 1980.[2] When Sonju had difficulty securing the funds needed for the US$12 million expansion entry fee, Carter stepped forward to guarantee its payment.[8] This initial investment in the team (US$36.5 million in today's terms) eventually earned him US$125 million (US$200 million in today's terms) when he sold the team in 1996 to an investment group led by Ross Perot Jr..[9][10]

Over the years, Carter owned many different types of businesses, including a Rolls-Royce dealership.[11] Other businesses include banks, trucking firms, hotels, rodeo arenas, and cattle ranches. In the 2011 championship win by the Dallas Mavericks over the Miami Heat he was given the honor of receiving the Larry O'Brien trophy by Mark Cuban as the first owner. A minority (4%) owner, he frequently attended Mavericks games until his death in 2018.[12]

Personal life and death[edit]

Carter had two sons, Donald J. “Joey” Carter, Jr. and Ronald L. Carter, and a daughter, Christi Carter Urschel with his wife of 58 years, Linda Jo.[13][14]

Carter died at his home in Dallas, Texas on February 14, 2018, at the age of 84.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2018/02/15/don-carter-mavericks-co-founder-first-majority-owner-dies-age-84
  2. ^ a b Aron (2003), p. 4–6.
  3. ^ "Around the State: Sports". Texas Monthly. 19 (11): 42. Nov 1991.
  4. ^ https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2018/02/15/don-carter-mavericks-co-founder-first-majority-owner-dies-age-84
  5. ^ a b Braga, Michael (6 Nov 2005). "Multimillionaire invests big in high-end condos". Herald Tribune (Sarasota, FL).
  6. ^ Brendan M. Case (22 Sep 2008). "Home Interiors and Gifts details plan to split up bankrupt company". Denton Record Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29.
  7. ^ Myerson, Allen R. (22 July 1994). "Buyouts in the Heart of Texas". New York Times.
  8. ^ Papanek, John. "Well Now, Looka Here," Sports Illustrated, October 27, 1980.
  9. ^ "New Mavs Group Removes Motta". St. Petersburg Times. 2 May 1996. p. 60.
  10. ^ Aron (2003), p. 141.
  11. ^ Falk (2009), p. 289.
  12. ^ Whitt, Richie (1 June 2006). "Proud Papa". Dallas Observer.
  13. ^ http://www.espn.co.uk/nba/recap?gameId=300126006
  14. ^ http://www.porcelainmarksandmore.com/related/usa/carrollton-01/index.php
  15. ^ https://www.lmtonline.com/sports/article/Don-Carter-owner-who-helped-bring-NBA-to-Dallas-12616734.php
  16. ^ http://www.wfaa.com/sports/mavericks-founding-owner-don-carter-passes-at-84/519105599


External links[edit]