Peter V. Ueberroth
businessman, baseball commissioner, Olympics chairman
Birthplace: Evanston, Ill.
Having proven his business acumen by running Trans International Airline (1959–62),then his own company, Transportation Consultants International (1963–79), he was tapped in 1979 to organize the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984. He leveraged his considerable skills in marketing and business to make the games financially successful, using the profits to fund youth athletic initiatives in Los Angeles. His ability to buck the trend of heavy debts for an Olympic host city by creating a budgetary surplus earned him the honor of being named TIME's “Man of the Year” in 1984. He spent a term as commissioner of baseball (1984–89), averting a strike by umpires during the 1988 playoffs. He returned to private enterprise, but was again tapped for public duty in his greatest challenge: to lead a taskforce whose goal was to identify and remove the socio-economic causes of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.