Ben Berger

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Ben Berger (1897 – 1988) was a Minneapolis businessman. He was born in Ostrowiec, Poland and moved to the United States at age 16. He owned movie theaters and cafes in Minneapolis. In 1947, he along with Morris Chalfen bought the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. They relocated and renamed the team to Minneapolis Lakers. He co-owned the team until 1957, during those years the Lakers won 6 league titles (1 NBL and 5 BAA/NBA). After he and Chalfen sold the team in 1957 to a group headed by Bob Short, Berger founded a group that worked with recently released convicts helping them readjust to society. Ben Berger owned Sheiks Cafe in Minneapolis and the Berger Fountain in Minneapolis was named for him. He had four brothers that he brought from Poland, Sam Berger and Vladimir Berger, Saul and Lazaro Berger. The first two were able to come to the United States, the other two established themselves in Mexico and later on, immigrated to the United States. Ben Berger was survived by one son that resides in Del Mar California, Lawrence Berger; his grandsons Robert and William, and five great-grandchildren, Brittany, Nicolina, Dane, Joan, and Kyle.