Lawrence J. Dolan
Born (1931-02-08) February 8, 1931 (age 93)
OccupationAttorney (retired)
Known forCleveland Guardians principal owner
Children6 including Matt Dolan and Paul Dolan

Lawrence J. Dolan (born February 8, 1931) is an American retired attorney and the principal owner of the Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball (MLB).


Dolan attended St. Ignatius High School and got his law degree from University of Notre Dame in 1956.[1] He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cleveland State University.[2]

Professional career

Upon leaving Notre Dame, Dolan served in the United States Marine Corps for two years, where he attained the rank of first lieutenant. Upon leaving the Marine Corps in 1958, Dolan worked as assistant prosecutor in Geauga County, Ohio before going into private practice. He eventually became president and managing partner of Thrasher, Dinsmore, & Dolan in Chardon, Ohio.

Cleveland Guardians owner

In 2000, Dolan (through a family trust) bought the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB) for $323 million from Richard Jacobs, who, along with his late brother David Jacobs, had paid $35 million for the club in 1986. Jacobs had taken the team public in 1997.[3] As part of the deal, Dolan bought all of the stock at just over $12 a share, making the franchise privately held once again.[4] During his time as owner, the team has experienced periods of competitiveness, including playoff runs in 2007, 2013, and making it to the World Series in 2016, as well as periods without success, including several seasons with over 90 losses.

While the team's player salaries were among the highest in MLB during Jacobs' final years as owner, at times they have been among the lowest under Dolan.[5] This has led some fans to regard Dolan as miserly,[6] although other fans dispute the reputation.[7] After the team reached the 2016 World Series, the team acquired free agents Edwin Encarnación and Boone Logan.[8][9] However, both of these players were with other teams by 2019 in an attempt to reduce payroll, thus adding to both sides of the “miserly” argument between fans.[10]

In 2006, Dolan started SportsTime Ohio to broadcast the team's games; in 2012, it was sold to Fox Entertainment Group.

In November 2021, the baseball team officially changed its name to the Cleveland Guardians.[11]

Personal life

Dolan has six children; among them are Matt who is a State Senator, and Paul who worked for his law firm and was since named as president, and later chairman, CEO, and controlling owner of the baseball team. Dolan has said his children will eventually assume ownership of the team in his stead.

Dolan's nephew James L. Dolan owns the New York Knicks of the NBA and the New York Rangers of the NHL.

Dolan has three brothers: Charles; Bill (retired in Fort Myers, Florida, at the time of his death in 2013)[12] and David (died in a glider plane crash in 1980).

Awards and honors



  1. ^ Larry Dolan| Cleveland Indians Baseball | Cleveland Seniors Profile
  2. ^ Cleveland State University News Releases
  3. ^ Sandomir, Richard (1999-11-05). "BASEBALL; A Dolan Agrees to Purchase the Indians for $320 Million". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  4. ^ Details of Dolan Family ownership - Sports Business
  5. ^ Roth, Phil. "MLB Past and Future Payrolls". Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  6. ^ Pluto, Terry (2008). Dealing: The Cleveland Indians' New Ballgame: How a Small-Market Team Reinvented Itself as a Major League Contender. Gray & Company. ISBN 978-1-59851-049-2.
  7. ^ Dery, Todd (April 8, 2015). "How the Indians Were Built Through a Series of Nifty Trades". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  8. ^ Meisel, Zack (January 27, 2017). "Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan, on Edwin Encarnación's hefty contract: 'There's no better time than now'". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Pluto, Terry (February 4, 2017). "Cleveland Indians have Terry Talkin' Boone Logan, ownership spending". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Cleveland Indians: Paul Dolan talks payroll, pitching and contention – Terry Pluto". 15 March 2019.
  11. ^ Bell, Mandy (November 19, 2021). "Guardians era officially arrives in Cleveland". Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  12. ^ William E. "Bill" Dolan obituary
  13. ^ Cleveland sports HOF class of 2014 - Cleveland Sports