The following is extracted from the 1983 USFL Media
Guide. Supplemental information follows.
The Michigan Panthers ownership reflects the dedication
of three businessmen and sportsmen whose business and
professional careers have all prospered in the state of
A. Alfred Taubman, one of the nation's leading real
estate developers, heads the ownership group as chairman
of the board. He is joined by Judge Peter B.
Spivak, team president, and Max M. Fisher.
Mr. Taubman is chairman and chief executive officer of
The Taubman Company, Inc., which he founded in
1950. The firm, headquartered in the Detroit
suburb of Troy, is one of the foremost
owner-builder-developers of regional shopping centers in
urban and suburban locations throughout the United
Owner and Chairman of
native of metropolitan Detroit, Taubman was trained in
architecture and educated at the University of Michigan
and Lawrence Institute of Technology in Southfield,
MI. He is a frequent spokesman for the real estate
industry on matters regarding urban planning, central
city revitalization, public policy and retail
development. In addition to activities with his
own firm, Taubman also participates in a wide range of
business, civic and cultural endeavors.
Born in Philadelphia, Judge Spivak has been a Detroit
area resident since the age of 14. He graduated
from Ohio Wesleyan University and earned his law degree
from Northwestern University. He is a member of
the State Bar of Michigan and its sections on domestic
law and arts, sports and entertainment law. He has
been a member of the board of trustees of New Detroit,
Inc., the city's urban coalition, from 1971 to the
Judge Spivak is of counsel to the law firm of Jaffe,
Snider, Kaitt & Heuer in Detroit. He served as
a judge on the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan from
1974 until 1981. He was chairman of the Michigan
Public Service Commission from 1964 through 1968, and
later was judge and presiding judge of the Wayne County
Common Pleas Court.
Mr. Fisher was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in
Salem, OH. He is a graduate of Ohio State
University where he was a member of the football
team. He serves on the boards of several major
corporations and participates in many philanthropic and
Mr. Fisher is the founding chairman of Detroit
Renaissance, Inc., the business leadership group which
is devoted to the physical and economic revitalization
of the City of Detroit. Mr. Taubman joins Mr.
Fisher and other prominent area business leaders on the
Detroit Renaissance board.
Taubman's Panthers won the 1983 USFL Championship, but
lost a reported $ 6 million doing so. The USFL's
plans to move to the fall for 1986 in effect killed the
team, with the Panthers merging with the Oakland
Invaders for the 1985 season, Taubman being listed as
the combined team's majority owner. In 1982 he
purchased A&W Restaurants (later sold) and during
1983 Taubman purchased the famed auction house
Sotheby's, taking the firm public in 1998.
Sotheby's proved his downfall in a sense, as in February
2000 he was forced to step down from Sotheby's chair
after the FBI charged him with collusion and
price-fixing. In December 2001 Taubman was
convicted of conspiracy, and sentenced to 366 days in
prison. His family divested his controlling
interest in Sotheby's during 2005. Despite his
conviction and imprisonment however, Taubman today
remains active in business and philanthropic circles in
the Detroit area.