Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
OBITUARY: John Kluge (1914-2010)
September 8th, 2010 10:09PM

TAGS:  mls, new york red bulls, obituary, soccer business


John Kluge, one of the richest men in the United States and an original investor in Major League Soccer, died Tuesday at the age of 95.

The MetroStars were named after Metromedia, the media company Kluge owned for many years and made him a billionaire. Kluge and his business associate Stuart Subotnick operated the MetroStars from their inception until 2001.

During their reign, the MetroStars featured such international stars as Roberto Donadoni and Lothar Matthaeus and coaches as Carlos Alberto Parreira, Carlos Queiroz and Bora Milutinovic, but they struggled to find success.

A dispute in 1999 between the MetroStars owners and MLS deputy commissioner Sunil Gulati over the contract of MetroStars midfielder Tab Ramos, the first player Gulati signed when he stocked MLS rosters for the league's 1996 launch, resulted in Gulati's ouster. Seven years later, Gulati would become U.S. Soccer president.

The MetroStars owners pursued plans to build a soccer stadium at several locations, next to Aqueduct race track in Queens -- Subotnick owned race horses -- and in Harrison, N.J., where Red Bull Arena was eventually opened this year by the New York club's current owners, Red Bull.

Kluge's successor company, the Metromedia International empire, was hit hard by economic problems and Kluge and Subotnick withdrew from MLS in 2001 and sold their interest in the MetroStars to AEG.

Kluge had many financial interests during his business career.

The Metromedia stations he owned later formed the basis for the Fox television network. He once owned the Harlem Globetrotters and Ice Capades. He also operated many chain restaurants.

In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked Kluge as the 35th richest American with an estimated net worth at $6.5 billion.

  1. Stephen Sullivan
    commented on: September 9, 2010 at 8:24 p.m.
    John was also one of the nation's greatest modern philanthropists as well. From the largest sigle donation to his alma mater (Columbia) to millions for AIDS and cancer research to support of anti-poverty initiatives large and small like Meals on Wheels, BandAid and Rock & Wrap It Up!, Kluge has been generous with his time and money.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Klinsmann: 'This is about belief'    
Jurgen Klinsmann was not shy in explaining what he was looking for in his team that ...
U.S. Abroad: Williams scores after 15 seconds, Yedlin starts    
Danny Williams, who was called into the U.S. squad for the Concacaf Cup, needed only 15 ...
What They're Saying: Peter Vermes    
"I mean this with all due respect -- he picked those guys apart." -- Sporting KC ...
TV Report: All MLS playoff games will air nationally    
All MLS playoff matches will air on national television for the first time. The expanded playoffs ...
Video Pick: A big blunder by keeper Bernd Leno     
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno made the most embarrassing blunder of the weekend in a 1-1 ...
U.S. Abroad: Danny Williams scores after 11 seconds    
Danny Williams, who was called into the U.S. squad for the Concacaf Cup, needed only 11 ...
USL: Los Dos knock off Orange County    
Ariel Lassiter scored both goals to lead LA Galaxy II to a 2-0 win over the ...
MLS Weekend: Timbers drop crushing home defeat    
Three days after winning the U.S. Open Cup, Sporting Kansas City traveled to Portland, where it ...
Three Takeaways from USA-Cuba Olympic qualifier     
The USA clinched a berth in the all-important semifinals of the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship with ...
U.S. roster for Concacaf Cup    
Jurgen Klinsmann named his roster for the next Saturday's USA-Mexico game for the Concacaf Cup at ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives