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Ex-Nets co-owner Henry Taub dies

4/2/2011 - NBA New Jersey Nets

TENAFLY, N.J. -- Henry Taub, who was a co-owner of the New Jersey Nets for nearly 20 years, has died. He was 83.

Automatic Data Processing, which he turned into one of the world's largest payroll processing firms, announced Friday that Taub died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The cause of death was not disclosed.

"The Nets' organization was very saddened to learn of the passing of one of the team's former owners, Henry Taub," Nets CEO Brett Yormark said Saturday in a statement. "Henry was a key figure in bringing professional basketball to the state of New Jersey, and he will always have a prominent place in the history of the Nets' franchise."

Taub was a 21-year-old accountant when he started ADP in 1949. The Roseland, N.J.-based firm now has about 550,000 clients around the globe and nearly $9 billion in revenues.

Taub got the idea for his company when one of his accounting clients was late paying its workers because its payroll manager was ill. He soon started handling payrolls for several local companies and, since he didn't own a car, he often delivered payrolls by taking a bus to his clients.

A few years later, a young insurance salesman named Frank Lautenberg -- who eventually would become a U.S. senator from New Jersey -- joined the firm and soon rose through its ranks, helping to sell large businesses on the concept of letting ADP handle their payrolls.

"We worked a lot of seven-day weeks, but Henry never let [his brother] Joe or me leave the place without cleaning up and preparing for the next day," Lautenberg told The Record of Woodland Park. "He was brilliant, very disciplined."

Taub, who lived in Tenafly, served as ADP's chief executive officer until 1975 and was a member of its board of directors from 1961 to 2009. At the time of his death, he was serving as its honorary chairman, a post he had held since 1986.

He also served on the boards of several major national companies.

Taub also was a well-known philanthropist who supported numerous causes in the United States and Israel. He founded the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, which has assets of about $150 million and often donates money to educational and health causes.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.