Barry Allan Ackerley (Barry Allan Ackerley)

Barry Allan Ackerley

Barry Allan Ackerley

Sports Magnate. He was the principal owner of the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association, from 1983 to 2001. A graduate of the University of Iowa, he rose to the position of Chairman and Corporate Executive Officer (CEO) of Ackerley Communications, a media conglomerate operating television and radio stations in 20 major markets throughout six states. He began his career as an advertising salesman for the New York City based Better Homes and Garden magazine, before turning his attention to the field of electronic media advertising. In 1983 he purchased the SuperSonics from the team’s original owner Sam Schulman, successfully operating the Pacific Northwest franchise for nearly two decades. During his 18 years of ownership, the Sonics appeared in 13 playoff series, winning four Pacific Division Titles and one Western Conference Championship. In 1996 the Seattle SuperSonics reached the NBA finals, before losing the championship series to the Chicago Bulls in six games. In 2001 he sold the Seattle franchise to Starbucks founder, CEO and business entrepreneur Howard Schultz. Schultz continued business operations of the Sonics for the next several years, before selling the franchise to an out of state buyer led by Oklahoma businessman Clayton Bennett. In 2008 the Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City amid local civic outrage, after 41 seasons of professional NBA basketball in Seattle. Ackerley died at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, two days after suffering a major stroke.


  • April, 15, 1934
  • Des Moines, Iowa


  • March, 21, 2011
  • Rancho Mirage, California

Cause of Death

  • Stroke

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