JoAnn Buss, the mother of Lakers co-owners Jeanie, Janie, Johnny and Jim Buss, has died, the Lakers announced Monday. She was 86.
JoAnn Buss was the wife of the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, until the couple divorced in 1972.
“I was saddened to hear the news that JoAnn Buss, mother of Jeanie, Johnny, Jim and Janie, and wife of Dr. Buss, has passed away,” Magic Johnson said on Twitter. “She was an incredible friend and woman. Cookie and I are glad she was a part of our lives for more than 40 years.”
Born JoAnn Mueller in Boise, Idaho, she met Jerry Buss while they both attended the university of Wyoming.
“Whatever reservations my mother had about going to the University of Wyoming disappeared one night two months after she arrived,” Jeanie wrote in her book, “Laker girl.” “A sophomore named Jerry Buss had invited her to a dance. When he dropped her off at the end of the evening, she told her two roommates, ‘I just met my future husband.’”
The two married in 1952 and moved to Los Angeles together the following year.
Instead of flowers, the Buss family asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Lakers Youth Foundation.
“Sad day for all of us especially for my family members Jeanie, Janie, Johnny and Jimmy,” Lakers co-owner Joey Buss, Jeanie’s half brother, said on twitter. “JoAnn was nothing but kind and gracious to me. A wonderful and strong woman.”
Lakers star LeBron James also offered his condolences on Twitter.