The Shark that went to Summer Camp

Hey, Campers!

Did you know that the straight-talking owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks went to summer camp in his younger days? He’s also the owner of Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV; but you probably know him best as one of the sharks on ‘Shark Tank’—the extremely popular reality TV show on ABC—Mark Cuban.This guy knows how to make money!

An incredibly clever investor and wise businessman, Mark has worked his way up to the rungs of super-success—a ladder he started climbing when he was only 12 years old. Born to a working class family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mark understood how the world of money worked from a young age.

Mark also knew how to have a good time and still does today! He attended Emma Kaufmann Camp, a residential camp located on Cheat Lake in Morgantown, West Virginia, just 70 miles south of his hometown. His summer camp experience certainly guided him well and showed him how much fun life can be. These lessons are extremely apparent through his successful lifestyle and general comfort in his own skin.

When he was 12, Mark wanted a pair of really expensive basketball shoes. He knew they were too pricey for his parents to buy for him, so he started selling garbage bags to turn a profit. And four years later, as he learned more about the world of business, he ran Cleveland newspapers out to Pittsburgh throughout a strike of Gazette writers to take full advantage of the situation.

While attending Mount Lebanon High School he held a good number of different styles of jobs. And after his junior year, he went straight for his GED and immediately enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. He then transferred to Indiana University one year later and, in due course, he graduated from Kelley’s School of Business—this school in particular for the sole reason that it was the cheapest option!

After his graduation in 1982, he moved to Dallas, Texas where he found work as a bartender, then as a salesperson for Your Business Software, then on of the first PC software retailers in Dallas. Eventually, he started his own company called MicroSolutions. It was successful and by 1990, he sold it for $6 million—which came out to about $2 million after taxes.

Mark Cuban is now a household name and watched with admiration as well as adoration on our TV sets. Summer camp was surely a great influence for him. How will it influence you? And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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