Lee Stern

A Chicago commodities broker who became one of the leading executives in American soccer as owner of the Chicago Sting in the North American Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Stern, a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, got interested in soccer in a common way for American business executives, through watching his children play. He founded the Sting in the NASL’s 1975 season, and the team went on to win NASL championships in 1981 and 1984. After the NASL folded, Stern continued to operate the Sting as a member of the MISL for four more years.

During his years as owner of the Sting, Stern became heavily involved in the upper echelons of the NASL. He was a member of the committee that formulated a long-term strategic plan for the league in 1977, served as chairman of the league’s executive committee in 1981 and 1982, and was a member of the American delegation that negotiated with FIFA over NASL rule experiments.

Inducted in 2003.