The Mogul

Eddie Gottlieb, Philadelphia Sports Legend and Pro Basketball Pioneer

Rich Westcott
Book Cover

HC: $46.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-655-1
Publication: Apr 08

320 pages
6 x 9
1 figs., 50 halftones

The first full-length study of Eddie Gottlieb, a pioneering player, coach, owner, and entrepreneur in basketball and baseball��

Read the Introduction (pdf).


Russian-Jewish immigrant Eddie Gottlieb was one of the most powerful non-playing sports figures in Philadelphia from the 1920s until his death in 1979. A master promoter, Gottlieb—dubbed the “Mogul” for his business acumen—was influential in both basketball and baseball circles, as well as a colorful figure in his own right.

A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Gottlieb founded, played and coached for the legendary South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (SPHAS) basketball team in the 1920s and 1930s. Only 5’ 8”, Gottlieb was nevertheless a very good basketball player. But it was behind the scenes where he excelled. He coached, helped form the National Basketball Association, and owned the Philadelphia Warriors franchise for many years. He signed Wilt Chamberlain to his first NBA contract. He also created the NBA's annual schedule of games for more than a quarter of a century. Outside basketball, Gottlieb’s achievements included co-owning the Philadelphia Stars baseball team in the Negro Leagues and trying unsuccessfully to buy the Philadelphia Phillies. He was Philadelphia’s leading sports booking agent from the 1920s into the 1950s for everything from sandlot baseball to semipro football to professional wrestling. Drawing upon dozens of interviews and archival sources, and featuring more than fifty photographs, The Mogul vividly portrays Eddie Gottlieb’s pivotal role in both Philadelphia’s and America’s sports history.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Paul Arizin
1. From Russia to South Philly
2. A Jewish Man's Game
3. King of the Court
4. They Were the Days
5. A Born Promoter
6. Black Baseball Thrives
7. Owner of the Stars
8. Trying to Buy the Phillies
9. A New League, a New Team
10. First Champions of the BAA
11. New Owner of the Warriors
12. Integration Arrives
13. One Year at the Top
14. The Dipper Comes Home
15. Going to San Francisco
16. The 76ers Arrive
17. The Final Years

About the Author(s)

Rich Westcott is a writer and sports historian and a veteran of more than 40 years as a working journalist. He is a leading authority on the Phillies, and for 14 years was editor and publisher of Phillies Report. A native Philadelphian, he is the author of 18 other books, including Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia's Old Ballparks, The Phillies Encyclopedia (with Frank Bilovsky), and A Century of Philadelphia Sports. Westcott has seen or covered all the major teams in Philadelphia, including the Warriors and 76ers.