Mark Cuban, the 64-year-old owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an investor on the popular TV show, Shark Tank, has a net worth of $6.4 billion. That sum entitles him to the No. 227 slot on Forbes 2022 list of “The 400 Richest People in America.”
So, while he is still far from breathing the rarified air in Elon Musk’s or Jeff Bezos’ stratosphere, Cuban’s income allows him to remain far above the teeming fray.
Was he born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth? How did Mark Cuban reach billionaire status in the first place?
Was Mark Cuban Born into Wealth?
Cuban does not come from money. He was born to blue-collar parents, Norton and Shirley Cuban, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was reared in the nearby suburb of Mount Lebanon.
During Cuban's youth, his father worked installing upholstery in automobiles while his mother held a series of low-wage, blue-collar positions in the area.
Cuban’s paternal grandfather was a Russian Jewish immigrant who was born “Chabenisky,” but later Anglicized his name into “Cuban” after entering the United States via Ellis Island.
It is variously stated that Cuban’s mother’s family members were also Jews who emigrated to America from Lithuania and/or Romania.
Basketball Was Always a Part of Cuban’s Life
Perhaps it was his bootstrap background that provided Cuban with the inspiration to rise above his humble Rust Belt beginnings to become one of the top earners on the globe.
At a mere 12 years old, Cuban made the rounds of his working-class neighborhood, hawking garbage bags to suburban housewives. The garbage bag sale proceeds funded Cuban's purchase of a pricey pair of basketball sneakers.
Cuban's innate entrepreneurial spirit served him well then, as it continues to do now. As an adolescent and young teen, he went on to sell coins, baseball cards, and stamps to Pennsylvania hobbyists.
When Cuban was 16, the workers for his hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, went on strike. Cuban, ever one to turn lemons into lemonade, grew his nest egg considerably by hauling newspapers out of Cleveland, Ohio, to the news-hungry Pittsburgh residents.
An Early Start to His College Career
Taking a pass on his senior year of high school, with the credits he had already accrued, the young man instead enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. There, he pledged Pi Lambda Phi and became an active member of the fraternity.
Cuban then matriculated at Bloomington’s Indiana University for his sophomore and subsequent college years.
At IU, the budding entrepreneur kept the wolf from the door with several jobs that included slicing meats in a deli, giving sorority girls disco dancing lessons, operating a Bloomington bar (Motley’s), and sending out a chain letter for the purposes of raising money for Cuban's college tuition.
In 1981, Cuban received a BS degree in management from the Kelley School of Business. He found work with Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, thus launching the career trajectory that would land him on Forbes’ Billionaire List one day.
What Did Mark Cuban Do to Get Rich?
Cuban has always been visionary. He knew the future was intrinsically linked to online projects involving computer software. It was on that industry that he first set his laser sights.
One humorous tale alleges that Cuban’s early resume included a stint cleaning a branch of a software company. The story goes that instead of sweeping and mopping the premises -- the tasks for which he had been hired -- Cuban instead made the company a $15k sale from his software spiel.
Rather than being impressed with his audacity and mad sales skills, the company terminated him for his initiative and efforts.
Never one to be deterred by something as minor as a pink slip, Cuban doubled down on his business plan. In short order, he opened the doors of his own software company, MicroSolutions.
That company sold for $6 million in 1990.
It Always Comes Back to the Game
For Cuban, his passion for basketball remains a constant theme running throughout his life.
He supported the Indiana Hoosiers during his stint at that university. Once his career took off and he resettled in Dallas, Cuban and his friend from Indiana U, Todd Wagner, bemoaned no longer being able to watch their alma mater team play basketball.
Dallas was much too far away from televised Indiana University game sources. Cuban and Wagner decided to change that.
Putting their heads together in the nascent days of the ‘net, the wily entrepreneurs developed an online video portal. Using Broadcast.com, they were able to catch the Hoosier court action from the comfort of their Dallas homes.
Four years later, in 1999, Cuban the Billionaire was born when Yahoo bought Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion.
Mark Cuban Net Worth and the Dallas Mavericks
Before Cuban took over the helm of the Dallas professional basketball team with its purchase on Jan. 4, 2000, the city was known nearly exclusively for a single pro sports team – the Dallas Cowboys.
Cuban’s purchase, presence and intervention was about to change the landscape of professional sports teams in Dallas.
It has been said that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. If you happen to be Mark Cuban, that probably rings very true.
He has stated repeatedly that his involvement with the Mavericks team arose from his lifelong love of the game. The purchase itself was less of an investment opportunity than a chance to immerse himself in the machinations of team ownership and build a better Mavericks.
There is no doubt he succeeded wildly in this endeavor. From a totally “meh” sports franchise to a basketball powerhouse worth nearly $3 billion (the ninth most valuable team in the NBA), Cuban has left his indelible imprint on the Mavericks brand.
He did this by turning the fan experience at Mavericks home games into a premiere entertainment event.
Is Mark Cuban Still a Billionaire?
He is indeed. Although billionaires' fortunes rise and fall every day, it is safe to say that Cuban’s position as a billionaire remains strong.
Below are his four personal steps to accruing wealth.
1. Find something you're good at. Then become great at it.
Cuban's advice is good for aspiring millionaires and billionaires. Work with your strengths until you are an industry leader in your own right. You can always improve just a little more, no matter what field you choose.
2. Know how to sell.
There is more to sales than simply unloading your merchandise queue. The best salespeople understand and anticipate their clients' needs. They can then offer them the perfect product the clients might only now realize they need.
3. Stay curious and always learn.
Keeping your mind keen both improves your performance on the job and elevates your happiness with your chosen occupation.
4. Know your stuff better than anyone in the room.
Cuban demonstrates this canon over and over again on Shark Tank. Taking the time to crunch the numbers a third time and polish your pitch can make all the difference.
These tips may not make you a billionaire, but they do give a glimpse into what lies behind billionaire Mark Cuban's net worth.
You can also read:
- How Kevin O’Leary Achieved a Net Worth of $400 Million
- How Liz Cheney Achieved a Net Worth of $7 Million
- How Michael Phelps Achieved a Net Worth of Over $50 Million
- How Ashley Graham Achieved a Net Worth of $1 Million
- How John Boyega Achieved a Net Worth of $6 Million
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker