John Jackson

It was USC that made him Dr. Jerry Buss

It was USC that made him Dr. Jerry Buss

Jerry Buss did not enroll as a USC graduate student with aspirations of becoming one of the most successful owners in professional sports history.

As a youngster, he thought he might be a photographer. But in high school, he shifted his focus to becoming a chemist.

"I wanted to go on and teach school in a big university, preferably one with a really good football team," he once said in a television interview, "and that's why I went to USC."

The University of Wyoming graduate earned a master's degree and then a PhD in physical chemistry from USC in 1957, becoming the Dr. Jerry Buss who made a fortune in real estate and purchased the Lakers a little...