Rochester native Harry T. Mangurian Jr., who made his family’s local furniture business a nationwide success and went on to become a prominent businessman and horse breeder in Florida and was the sole owner of the Boston Celtics for several years, died of leukemia early Sunday morning in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was 82.
In 1977, Mr. Mangurian bought 50 percent of the Buffalo Braves of the National Basketball Association. But at the end of the 1978 season, he and Braves co-owner John Y. Brown swapped ownership of the Braves team for the Boston Celtics, which he stayed with until 1983. In 1979, Mr. Mangurian became the sole owner of the Celtics and was behind the signing of some big stars such as Larry Bird and Robert Parish. In 1981 the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship.