Bowlen Is The 5th NFL Owner To Pass Away In The Last 15 Months
Pat Bowlen, the principal owner of the Denver Broncos since 1984, passed away Thursday night at age 75 after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Broncos released a statement from the Bowlen family just after midnight in Denver announced his passing.
“We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family. His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.
“Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight.
“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility.
“More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”
Bowlen’s illness was first announced by the team in July 2014. He stepped down from the day-to-day operations of the team and placed eventual stewardship into the hands of a three-person group of trustees. While family infighting over the controlling interest of the franchise has become the subject of a legal battle, Bowlen’s wife, Annabel, and his seven children, Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna, were all named in the statement released by the team early Friday morning.
With Bowlen as owner, the Broncos have won three Super Bowls, appeared in four more, won the AFC West 13 times and made 18 total playoff appearances. Bowlen is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August after being elected in the contributor category in January.
Bowlen is the fifth majority owner of an NFL team to pass away in the last 15 months. Others who have died were Tom Benson (Saints, March 2018), Alex Spanos (Chargers, October 2018), Paul Allen (Seahawks, October 2018) and Bob McNair (Texans, November 2018).
NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL Issued the following Statement:
“Pat was driven by the will to succeed and his competitive spirit made him a great leader. We all will greatly miss him and his kindness, passion and wisdom.
Pat had a deep love for the game of football, the Broncos and the City of Denver. In the 35 years he owned the Broncos, he helped deliver a remarkable 21 winning seasons and seven Super Bowl appearances, including three titles.
Our league is also better because of Pat’s extraordinary contributions. As co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and the chair of the NFL Broadcasting Committee, Pat played an instrumental role in many facets of our League that benefited fans, players and clubs.
Pat personified all that’s right about the NFL and is extremely deserving of this summer’s recognition as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
We send our deepest condolences to Annabel, the Bowlen family and Broncos’ fans in Denver and around the world.”