Born In Milwaukee
He was born Allan H. Selig in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 30, 1934. Son of Ben (owner of a car dealership) and Marie (an elementary school teacher) Selig, he inherited his love of baseball mostly from his mother. An avid baseball fan, Marie Selig followed the exploits of the area's major league teams—the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs—on her kitchen radio. Whenever possible, young Selig tried to attend local games, and in high school he joined the baseball team, aspiring someday to get into major league ball. Before long, he accepted that his lack of any notable talent on the ball field meant he would have to try to get into the game through the front office.
In 1956, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in American history and political science, Selig served in the U.S. Army for two years. Returning from military service in 1958, he joined his father in running the family's Ford dealership. Not long thereafter, his father died, leaving the business to his son. Selig had obviously inherited a knack for business from his father, for the dealership prospered under his guidance, generating enough profit to allow him to diversify his business holdings. He made a substantial investment in Jake's, a popular Jewish deli in Milwaukee, that in time proved even more profitable than the auto dealership.