(Born October 1, 1926) -- Here’s a name that might not register right away. Harry Mangurian is remembered now locally as one of the last owners of the Buffalo Braves.
Mangurian was a classic American success story. The child of immigrants, he served in World War II and worked in the family’s retail furniture business. Harry turned it into a national chain, and he eventually merged the firm with a cement company and also took control of a bank. Mangurian later became in other businesses as well.
He became involved in horse racing in 1966, and stayed in the sports of kings for the next 35 years or so. In 1977, he was invited to become a partner with John Y. Brown in owning the Buffalo Braves. Mangurian did that in 1977-78, the final year of the Braves’ franchise.
Buffalo’s team legally turned into the Boston Celtics in 1978, and Brown and Mangurian went with the franchise. Brown sold his share of the team to Mangurian in 1979, and he led the Celtics to a return to glory through the acquisition of such players as Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
Mangurian eventually sold the Celtics in 1983, and he passed away in 2008.
--- Budd Bailey