Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Passes Away at Age 95

Ralph Wilson Dead


Ralph Wilson, the legendary owner of the Buffalo Bills, has died at the age of 95, reports The Buffalo News. Team president, Russ Brandon, announced the passing of Wilson at the NFL Annual Meeting on March 25. Brandon said upon announcing his death, “No one loved the game of football more than Ralph.” Former Bills coach Marv Levy once said about Wilson, “He got into the game not because he knew it would be a moneymaker but because he loved it.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Ralph Wilson Founded the Bills

Ralph Wilson was the founder of the Buffalo Bills. He had previously stated that the team would not remain in his family after his death, reported ESPN back in 2009. In January 2013, Wilson gave full control of the team Russ Brandon.

In 1959, Wilson paid $25,000 for the team name, in August 2013, the team valuation was at $870 million, according to Forbes.

2. Wilson is Originally From Detroit

Ralph Wilson Detroit Lions

Wilson pictured with Detroit Lions head William Ford back in 2006. (Getty)

He was a World War II veteran. He was native of Detroit, Michigan, and he maintained a residence in Michigan until his death. At one time, he was a minority shareholder with the Detroit Lions.

3. Ralph Wilson Was a Football Hall-of-Famer

Buffalo Bills Owner Dead Dies


He was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 8, 2009. Upon his induction, former Bills player Paul Maguire said about him, “He’s always understood that owners own, coaches coach, and players play. He always knew to stay in the background, as hard as it is for some owners to do.”

4. Wilson Had Health Problems in His Later Years

Ralph Wilson Dies


He suffered health problems over the past few years, including breaking his hip after a fall at home in July 2011. In 2012, he was hospitalized with an infection.

5. Wilson Was Also a Horsebreeder

Ralph Wilson Jim Kelly

Wilson pictured with Jim Kelly (L) and Marv Levy (R) in 2002. (Getty)

In addition to his football activities, Wilson was also an accomplished horse breeder. The most famous horse he bred was Jim French, a winner of a Santa Anita derby in 1971.

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