Pat Bowlen, 1944-2019

Pat Bowlen, 1944-2019

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Hall of Famer Pat Bowlen died on Thursday night at the age of 75.

“It is with sadness that we mourn the passing of Pat Bowlen. The entire Hall of Fame family extends our deepest sympathies to the entire Bowlen family during this difficult time,” stated Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker.

Baker added, “Pat’s leadership helped shaped the NFL into what it is today. He also transformed the Denver Broncos into one of the finest franchises in the league and gave a winning identity to an entire region. He was a man who lived life with passion, conviction and demonstrated the highest level of integrity at all times. We are fortunate to have ‘knocked on the door’ of the Bowlen Family while he was still with us and we will preserve his life of character and legacy forever in Canton.”

Bowlen's tenure of ownership is undoubtedly one of the most successful periods for any team in the league. Bowlen also served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Broncos from the time he purchased the club in 1984 until July 2014.

Bowlen has guided the Broncos to great success as the club has posted one of the highest winning percentages of any franchise in the NFL since he bought the team. The Broncos have achieved 21 winning seasons, 13 division titles, nine conference championship berths and seven Super Bowl appearances during the Bowlen era.

Under Bowlen’s leadership, the team has more than 400 consecutive sellouts.

Bowlen is the only owner in NFL history to achieve 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos had an incredible run of success. The franchise has won three Super Bowls – XXXII, XXXIII and 50. The Broncos also claimed seven AFC championships under Bowlen (1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013 and 2015).

Bowlen was elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2015 and is a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. His outstanding contributions to the Broncos as well as the National Football League has established him as one of the greatest and most influential contributors in league history.

In addition to his role with the Broncos, Bowlen was a key figure in securing the league’s labor and TV contracts. He served as co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee from 2001-2011 and formerly chaired the prestigious NFL Broadcasting Committee.

In his role as Chair of the NFL Broadcast Committee, Bowlen was responsible for the negotiations on the NFL’s $18 billion TV contract, the most lucrative single-sport contract in history.

Bowlen also owned two other teams outside the NFL. He was part owner of the Colorado Crush of the AFL with current Broncos GM and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and the Denver Outlaws, a Major League Lacrosse team.

While Bowlen has a reputation for winning Super Bowls, he is also known for his charitable act. He was the 23rd recipient of the Mizel Institute's Community Enrichment Award, given annually to an individual who makes outstanding contributions to Denver communities.

Bowlen was the Chairman of the Board of Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated more than $25 million to charitable organizations in the Denver area since the inception of the fund over 20 years ago.

Some of the charities with which the Denver Broncos have worked under Bowlen include:

·         Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver

·         The NFL's Play 60 campaign

·         Bonfils Blood Center

·         HealthONE’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

·         Food Bank of the Rockies

·         The United Way


Bowlen also forged ahead with philanthropic work of his own:

·         He has served as Honorary Chairman of the Colorado Special Olympics for 19 years

·         He has served as Honorary Chairman of the Stadium Stampede (formerly the Colorado Family Classic) benefitting St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation for 28 years

·         He has displayed leadership and participated in several other organizations, including University of Denver, Capuchin Friars, University of Northern Colorado, Rose Medical Center, American Ireland Fund, Irish Community Center, Hawaii Maritime Center, Alberta Bar Association, Law Society of Alberta and the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Bowlen was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past February and will be enshrined posthumously on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.


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