Ueberroth was the organizer of the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, California. He was a prominent figure in the games and was named Man of the Year in 1984. He served as Major League Baseball commissioner from 1984 to 1989. He led the Rebuild Los Angeles project after the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
Ueberroth ran for Governor of California in the 2003 California recall election as an independent, though he was a registered Republican. His campaign focused on California's economic and budget crisis, avoiding social issues. With polls indicating only single digits of support, he pulled out of the race on September 9, 2003, though his name still appeared on the ballot and received a small but significant amount of votes. He placed 6th in a field of 135 candidates.