GEORGE GUND III (7 May 1937 - 15 January 2013) was the former owner of the CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, the CLEVELAND BARONS, and the San Jose Sharks.

Gund was born to successful banker and philanthropist George Gund II and Jessica Laidlaw Roseler in Cleveland Ohio. In his early life, Gund attended multiple prestigious high schools before dropping out and joining the US Marines in 1955.

After his time in the Marines, Gund attended Menlo College in Atherton California. Gund never graduated from Menlo and instead began importing films from Eastern European states and distributing them around the US. Gund was also an avid traveler and used both the money earned through his film distribution and the large sum left to him by his father to fund his global trips. During these travels he met his future wife Iara Lee, a Brazilian film producer; Gund aided Lee in the production and funding of her films throughout her career.

In addition to being an avid traveler, Gund was also quite involved in the world of sports, owning many professional teams throughout his life. In 1976 George along with his younger brother Gordon purchased the California Seals, an NHL team, and moved them to Cleveland renaming them the Barons. The Barons, however, were unsuccessful, recording league lows in attendance in both of their two seasons. This lack of success forced the Barons to merge with the Minnesota North Stars on 14 June 1978. In 1991, Gund bought a second NHL team by paying the league 45 million dollars for the rights to an expansion team, the San Jose Sharks. Before the 2001-2002 season, Gund sold the Sharks to a group of local investors. 

Gund also owned an NBA team. In 1983, George and Gordon purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers for 20 million dollars. Under the Gunds' ownership, the Cavaliers initially enjoyed great success, making the playoffs 10 of the first 15 seasons. This ended in 1997, after which the Cavaliers suffered 6 consecutive losing seasons. This ultimately led to the Cavaliers being awarded the 1st pick in the 2003 NBA draft with which they selected Lebron James. In 2005, Gund sold the team to Dan Gilbert.

Gund passed away in 2013 after a battle with stomach cancer.

Samuel Trunley

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