Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dead at 75

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen died June 13 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 75.
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen died June 13 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 75.

Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Pat Bowlen, who has owned the Denver Broncos since 1984, died Thursday night after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, The Denver Post reported. He was 75.

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The Broncos announced Bowlen died at his Denver home, the newspaper reported.

Bowlen, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February, was scheduled to be inducted Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio, KDVR reported.

Bowlen bought the the Denver Broncos in 1984 for $78 million, the television station reported. During Bowlen's tenure, the Broncos appeared in seven Super Bowls, winning four of them. The Broncos also won 12 AFC West titles and made 18 postseason appearances.

In a statement, the Bowlen family said, “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.”

Former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson said Bowlen's purchase of the team was "one of the most fortunate" things to happen to the franchise.

"I know he owned the team, but we were friends — friends first and foremost," Jackson told KMGH. "But he likes to win, and he decided to do everything that he could to get the team to win. And along the way he endeared himself to the city of Denver because of all he did."

"He never really issued directives, but he damn well wanted to know what was going on and he never wanted to be surprised," team president Joe Ellis told the Post. "If he liked an idea, he was enthusiastic — 'Let's get it done.' If he was hesitant, he would start asking questions and make you think and come back with a different solution or idea."