Maurice Mayer Stern was born in Illinois in 1916, but grew up in New Orleans. He attended school in New Orleans before going to college at Harvard University, graduating in 1936, and Southern Methodist University Institute of Insurance Marketing, graduating in 1949. He returned to New Orleans and began working in the insurance business. Maurice Stern worked to get an American Basketball Association franchise in New Orleans. He succeeded, became co-owner of the team and was instrumental in the running of the New Orleans Buccaneers. He struggled to make the franchise successful, even making personal loans to the organization in hopes of keeping the team in New Orleans.
Eventually, Stern and the other owners and stockholders were forced to sell the Buccaneers to Memphis in 1970, after just three seasons. The ABA did not last much longer and finally merged with the NBA in 1976. Maurice Stern was an important part of the New Orleans community and was involved in numerous charities and organizations, such as the Kingsley House, the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club and the Harvard Club of Louisiana until his death on November 29, 2008.