The following is extracted from the 1983 USFL Media
Guide. Supplemental information follows.
Over the years, throughout his travels all over the
globe, one thing was a constant in Marvin L. Warner's
world. Birmingham, where Warner was born and
raised, would always be home.
And to the man who said you couldn't go home again,
well, he simply didn't know Marvin L. Warner's devotion
and affection for the city. And that affection
manifest itself once again when Warner brought his own
USFL franchise to his hometown.
As a founding member of the league, Warner lends an
established and distinguished record in both public
service and the private sector.
A graduate of the University of Alabama, Warner entered
the U.S. Army upon graduation, serving in the Western
Pacific until 1946 and leaving the service with the rank
of major. While stationed in Washington, D.C., he
earned a master's degree in law from George Washington
When his military obligations were complete, Warner
returned to Birmingham and entered the real estate and
insurance fields. With a housing need for
returning veterans, he began building small, then larger
projects under the National Housing Act.
In 1951, Warner moved his operations base to Cincinnati,
yet he maintained his ties to his native state while
adopting new ones in his adopted environs. He
became chairman of the Ohio Board of Regents, a member
of the Democratic National Committee, and a Grand
Commodore of the Ohio Association of Commodores.
This is an honorary service organized, formed and
appointed by the Governor of Ohio.
Within his home state, Warner has continued to be active
at the university as a member of the President's Cabinet
and as a member of the Board of Visitors of the School
of Commerce. In 1978, he was the keynote speaker
at the University of Alabama Commerce Hall of Fame.
In 1968, Warner served as a member of the U.S.
delegation to the 23rd General Assembly of the United
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him as this
nation's Ambassador to Switzerland. He served in
that capacity until 1979.
Ambassador Warner's purchase of the Stallions franchise
marks his fourth venture into professional sports.
At one time, he has owned 10 percent of the baseball New
York Yankees and also was a 48 percent holder of the NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Warner also is one of America's best known and most
successful thoroughbred race horse owners and breeders.
He serves currently as chairman and chief executive
officer of ComBanks Corporation and Great American
Banks, Inc., of Orlando and Miami, FL, respectively, and
is principal owner of Warner National Corporation of
Cincinnati, a financial holding company.
Warner was one of the more staunch supporters of the
USFL concept, but by the third year of the Stallions'
existence had hit a series of legal and financial
problems that caused him to sell the Stallions - the
fact that they played in 1985 is a story in
itself. Home State Savings Bank, which he had
founded in 1973, went bankrupt in 1985 thanks to
fraud. Warner was immediately implicated, and
ultimately convicted, being sentenced to 6 1/2 years in
prison. Fighting the conviction delayed his term,
but exhausting his appeals he was finally imprisioned at
the Madison Correctional Center in Lebanon, Ohio in
April 1991. Serving 2 1/2 years he was released,
retiring to a farm in Florida - one of the few things he
was permitted to keep, as creditors otherwise picked him
clean. Warner died at the age of 82 on April 8,
2002, and what remaining assets he had were then
liquidated to satisfy creditors.