Russ Brandon, President and CEO of the, announced on Tuesday afternoon that team owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. has passed away. He was 95.
"He passed away peacefully at his home with his beautiful wife, Mary, and his daughters by his side," Brandon said Tuesday.
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. dead at 95 - Buffalo Rumblings
Wilson, a World War II veteran, founded the Bills in 1959, and they began playing in the AFL in 1960. He has owned the team every year of its existence, and was involved in the day to day of the operation until last January 1, when he appointed Brandon to the team presidency. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
While most people can appreciate Wilson's contribution to the Buffalo professional sports scene many are unaware that he has been a long time friend to UB Athletics. The UB Bulls, who lack the indoor facilities needed by northern FBS teams have long used the Ralph Wilson Field house to work out when the weather is bad, or when scouts wanted to see NFL ready Buffalo Bulls during our Pro days.
Often on Bull Run we poke fun at our much more accomplished NFL brethren but in truth it was Ralph Wilson's team that taught me to love football. I grew up during the Jim Kelly era and sold stadium horns and baseball caps in the ECC lot across from what was then called "Rich Stadium".
There has been speculation about the future of the Bulls in post Wilson world. But now is not the time for that, it's time to keep his loved ones in prayer and to be thankful for his part in Buffalo's past.
Rest in peace, Mr. Wilson. And thank you.