The family issued a statement shortly after his death at 5:55 a.m. PT.
"We have not only lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a man respected by world basketball community.
It was our father’s often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy."
Buss and his family have been at the helm of the sports franchise since 1979, and they along with the fans of Los Angeles are the beneficiaries of his talent, risk taking and love of basketball entertainment.
A showman at heart, Buss put a girls' troupe of dancers on the floor and the Laker Girls showed the rest of the league how to have fun.
With Hollywood so near, encouraging stars to attend and installing them in the courtside seats at the Fabulous Forum, the Lakers arena until 1999 helped make it a place fans wanted to be.
His after-game cocktail parties at the Forum Club were the most coveted ticket in town.
The NBA benefited from a Lakers team that won a championship in Dr. Buss' first year of ownership, and the 1980's became the decade of domination as the team took five titles between 1980 and 1988.
The rivalry with the Boston Celtics was already more than a decade old when Jerry Buss took over the team, but Los Angeles finally triumphed over its east coast nemesis.
Jerry West's Lakers' career did not include a victory over Boston in an NBA final.
"One of the biggest reasons I bought the Lakers was to beat the Celtics."
That was already more than 20 years past the last championship win over Boston and some 31 years after he originally purchased the team.
That drive, spark and competitiveness marked his personal and professional life. Known as an inveterate poker player, Buss was a regular around the poker parlors in L.A.
As he aged and his children moved into more dominant roles in the team's hierarchy, Buss stepped back and continued to enjoy life.
He hasn't been as much of a physical presence at games in the last couple of years, but Laker fans know exactly where his luxury suite is at Staples Center and had fun spotting his guests.
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and his lovely, young friends were among the regular celebs one could spot.
The team has hit some rough times in the past couple of years, and NBA watchers wonder how his family will carry on the tradition of winning, or if it is even possible to replicate the success Dr. Buss brought to the franchise.
The family including Jeanie, the team's EVP of Business Operations and son Jim who now runs the basketball side of the team along with GM Mitch Kupchak, will have to muddle through this latest confusing and disappointing season.
It will be their greatest test and they know their father's legacy is intact. To tarnish that would devastate them, but there are few who could ever have achieved the greatness of Jerry Buss.