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Don F. Gaston is an American businessman who served as an Executive Vice President of Gulf and Western Industries and Chairman of the Boston Celtics.

Early life[edit]

Gaston grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 1954 he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State College with a degree in accounting.[1]

From 1953 to 1962 Gaston served as an assistant manager of Ernst & Ernst in Houston, Texas.[1]

Gulf and Western[edit]

In 1962, Gaston became treasurer and controller of Gulf and Western Industries. In 1966 he was elected to the company's board of directors.[1] In 1967 he was elected to the board of directors of Famous Players Canadian Corporation, a Canadian theater chain owned by Gulf and Western subsidiary Paramount Pictures.[2] Later that year, he was elected Executive Vice President of Gulf and Western.[3] He also served on the board of Gulf and Western subsidiaries Roosevelt Raceway, the Providence Washington Insurance Company, and the Madison Square Garden Corporation.[4][5][6]

In 1979, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Gaston and company Chairman Charles Bluhdorn of a number of securities violations.[7][8] The case was settled in 1981 and Gaston and Bluhdorn were not required to pay any restitution.[9]

Richfield Holdings[edit]

In 1982 Gaston formed Richfield Holdings Ltd., an investment group that purchased Providence Capitol Insurance Company and Famous Players Canadian Corporation from Gulf and Western for $350 million. He resigned from Gulf and Western once the sale was completed.[10][11]

Boston Celtics[edit]

In 1983, Celtics owner Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. was on the verge of selling the team to Steve Belkin. However, when it was revealed that two of Belkin's business associates were convicted bookmakers, the negative publicity led Belkin to withdraw his bid. Twenty-four hours after the Belkin deal fell through, Gaston, who desired to purchase either the New York Knicks or the Boston Celtics, began negotiations to purchase the team.[12] On August 9, 1983, Mangurian sold the team to Gaston, Paul Dupee, and Alan N. Cohen for $15 million.[7] During Gaston's tenure as owner, the Celtics won two championships (1984 and 1986). Gaston's ownership group also began offering public stock in the team on the New York Stock Exchange.[13] The team also branched out into media ownership by purchasing WFXT-TV and WEEI in September 1989.[14] In 1993, Gaston's son, Paul Gaston, took control of the team.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Gulf & Western Elects New Board Member". The New York Times. June 10, 1966. 
  2. ^ "Commerce and Industry". The Wall Street Journal. February 14, 1967. 
  3. ^ "Gulf & Western Names D. Judelson President, Succeeding J. Duncan". The Wall Street Journal. August 4, 1967. 
  4. ^ "Roosevelt Raceway Board Size Expanded". The Wall Street Journal. July 15, 1970. 
  5. ^ "Commerce and Industry". The Wall Street Journal. August 8, 1968. 
  6. ^ "Madison Square Garden Corp. Taken Over by Gulf & Western". The New York Times. August 20, 1977. 
  7. ^ a b "Boston Celtics sold to Don Gaston". The Telegraph. August 10, 1983. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gulf & Western And Two Officers Accused by SEC". The Wall Street Journal. November 27, 1979. 
  9. ^ Miller, Judith (October 29, 1981). "G.& W. and S.E.C. Sign Agreement Settling Suit". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "G&W Approves Sale of Two Units For $350 Million". The Wall Street Journal. July 30, 1982. 
  11. ^ "G. & W. Sells Units For $350 Million". The New York Times. July 30, 1982. 
  12. ^ Duffy, Bob (November 11, 1983). "The Cosmopolitan, Down-Home Mix". The Boston Globe. 
  13. ^ "Trading Starts In Celtics Stock". The New York Times. December 5, 1986. 
  14. ^ Craig, Jack (September 28, 1989). "WEEI Bolsters Celtics' Roster". The Boston Globe. 
  15. ^ May, Peter (May 19, 1994). "Paul Gaston is no longer just the owner's son because . . . It's now his baby". The Boston Globe. 

Preceded by
Harry T. Mangurian, Jr.
Boston Celtics principal owner
with Alan N. Cohen and Paul Dupee

Succeeded by
Paul Gaston


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