No easy road to top for Bettman

While Gary Bettman's rise in the sports world has been quick, the NHL commissioner says he had a...

While Gary Bettman's rise in the sports world has been quick, the NHL commissioner says he had a rough time getting there. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI Agency file photo)

REJEAN TREMBLAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:54 PM ET

NEW YORK - Gary Bettman earns nearly $10 million per year. He lives in an upscale suburb outside New York. At the age of 30, he was already No. 2 in the NBA hierarchy.

It is said that the road to the top must have been easy one for him.

"Never! I was born in Queens in 1952. And my parents, middle-class people, divorced when I was five. Do you have any idea what a divorce in a Jewish family meant in the 50s? I think I was the only kid in primary school to live in a single-parent family. If I wasn't the only one, there definitely weren't many. It just didn't happen. Then, my dad died when I was 12. He was only 40. My mother died when she was 53. I got along on my own in life. To do my law studies, I was married and I had to work in addition to my studies to pay tuition. It wasn't easy and I suppose I was lucky to get a good job in a big New York firm. But I had to work hard to get to where I am."

He is married to Shelli and is the father of three kids: Lauren, Jordan and Brittany. His wife drives a Mercedes and Bettman an Acura. Remember, Honda-Acura is an NHL sponsor.


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