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 the Minneapolis Lakers. He co-owned the team until 1957. During those years the Lakers won 6 league titles (1 NBL and 5 BAA/NBA). They sold the team in 1957.

Berger founded a group that worked with recently released convicts helping them readjust to society. He 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, Vladimir, Saul and Lazaro Berger. The first two came to the United States, while the others established themselves in Mexico and later on, immigrated to the United States.

Ben Berger was survived by one son, Lawrence; his grandsons Robert and William, and five great-grandchildren, Brittany, Nicolina, Dane, Joan and Kyle.