Questions Presented

David J. Stern ’66

As commissioner of the National Basketball Association, David J. Stern oversees one of the world’s most successful professional sports leagues. Since the beginning of his tenure in 1984, Stern has transformed the NBA into a truly global phenomenon.

Fall 2010

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I came of age at a time when JFK was running for and serving as president. Just hearing him speak was, for me, inspirational. There was a real sense that you can do anything if you apply yourself and dream big dreams.

How do you define success?
For me, it’s not about setting goals and meeting them. It’s about assessing how you have done, and whether you are satisfied with your efforts and results.

Why did you go to law school?
I was intrigued by the notion of the law and lawyers. I believed that lawyers made important contributions and helped find solutions for the issues and problems of the day.

Who is your favorite lawyer of all time?
I was mentored at Proskauer Rose by a lawyer named George Gallantz, who was a stickler for detail, prose, and directness. He is my favorite.

Finish this sentence: you wouldn’t catch me dead without . . .
My BlackBerry and today’s newspapers: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and USA Today. And I don’t read those newspapers on either a Kindle or an iPad . . . yet.

One thing you absolutely must do before you die?
My wife is an adventurer, so I’ve had great experiences seeing naturally beautiful things—the Himalayas of Bhutan, the Arctic Refuge. One place left on our list is Antarctica.

Thing for which you are most thankful?
A healthy family.

Photographed by John Maggiotto