Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen passed away on Thursday night in his Denver home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Bowlen was to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. He was 75.
He is survived by his wife, Annabel, and their five children, Patrick III, John, Brittany, Christianna, and Annabel Victoria, as well as his first wife, Sally Parker and their two children, Amie Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace.
His family made a statement on the Broncos website announcing 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 became the owner of the Broncos in 1984 and overlooked the most successful 30 years of the team's history. During his tenure, the Broncos won three Super Bowls, (XXXII, XXXIII, and L) and won the AFC Championship seven times. He is the only team owner to reach the Super Bowl with four head coaches: Dan Reeves, Mika Shanahan, John Fox, and Gary Kubiak.
Bowlen had stepped away from the team's day-to-day operations just before the beginning of the season in 2014. That was one season before the Broncos' latest Super Bowl win in 2015.
Since then, Bowlen had put the team's control in the Bowlen Family Trust with Joe Ellis as the team president and chief executive officer.
In addition to his main role with the Broncos, Bowlen played an important role in shaping the NFL. He served in 15 league committees during his time, overseeing the franchise that helped the negotiation of record-breaking TV contracts and years of labor peace with the players.
Through Denver Broncos charities, Bowlen also donated more than $30 million to local charities, including the funding for the Denver Broncos' Boys and Girls Club.
I just woke up to the the very sad news of my friend & confidant Mr.B passing away.The world has lost a great man/legend.My heart & prayers to the Bowlen family.— Terrell Davis (@Terrell_Davis) June 14, 2019
Mr.B, I’ll never forget the impact you had on my life.I can’t thank you enough. Rest In Peace, TD#patbowlen #broncos pic.twitter.com/93x25GFOcr
We at OCN offer our sincerest condolences to the Bowlen family. He will be missed.