Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen died Thursday at age 75 after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Bowlen, who purchased the Denver franchise with his allies in 1984, helped the Broncos become one of the winningest teams in NFL history, earning three Super Bowl trophies, also will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the 2019 class this August at Canton.
Friday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell headed a cacophony of praise for Bowlen’s extraordinary life and the impact that he had on the league and outside:
“Pat was driven by the will to succeed and his aggressive spirit made him a great leader. We all will greatly miss his kindness, wisdom and passion,” Goodell said in a statement.
“Pat had a deep love for the game of soccer, 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 several titles.
“Our team is also better because of Pat’s extraordinary contributions. As co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and the seat of the NFL Broadcasting Committee, Pat played an instrumental role in several aspects of the League that gained fans, players and clubs.
“Pat personified all that’s about the NFL and is extremely deserving of the 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 globe.”