Bruce Levenson is most well-know to everyday people as the former owner of the Atlanta Hawks. However, Levenson has accomplished so much more in his life beyond owning an NBA basketball team.
His most notable business accomplishment was the founding of United Communications Group (UCG) with Ed Peskowitz in 1977. The dynamic duo bootstrapped the company to the truest sense of the word, beginning the company in Levenson’s apartment. It started out as a simple newsletter, Public Oil, which published up-to-date information on the happenings of the oil industry. After its early success the company began acquiring other newsletters and creating databases, including their first, Oil Price Information Service. Today the company provides data and insights to companies in the healthcare, mortgage, and technology sectors among others. Levenson and his partner were eventually inducted in to the Software and Information Industry Association’s Hall of Fame in 1997 for their work with the company.
Aside from this successful business venture Levenson has kept busy in several other sectors. One of the spinoffs from UCG is GasBuddy. GasBuddy is an app downloaded by more than 45 million users who use its information to find cheap gas stations while travelling. He also helped found and direct TechTarget, a now publicly-traded IT media company. Further increasing his diversity across sectors is his founding of DOT, a cooking technology that can toast bread in three seconds.
Even more impressive than Forbes billionaire Bruce Levenson’s business success has been his commitment to philanthropy. He has been very active in several Washington D.C. area foundations, including Hoop Dreams and Community Foundation of Washington D.C. He also served as president of his local I Have a Dream Foundation chapter. This organization works to promote higher education as an option for inner city youth. Continuing along with education, Levenson and his wife saw to the development of the University of Maryland’s Center for Leadership and Nonprofit Education.
Levenson is also very involved with a wide range of Jewish causes. He was a founding donor of the United States Holocaust Museum. Levenson took all of the Hawks staff and players there in 2014. He also supports Birthright Israel, an organization which allows young Jewish individuals to travel to Israel to learn more about their culture and to visit the Jewish State free of charge.
Most recently, Levenson was among 100 promiment Jewish individuals who sent a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister. The letter urged Netanyahu to work with John Kerry, and possibly be ready to make some territorial sacrifices in order to promote peace in the region.