Always a football fan, Wilson first entered the pro football world when he purchased a minority share of the Detroit Lions. He later joined Lamar Hunt and the six other AFL originals who collectively became known as "The Foolish Club."
Ralph Wilson was the man responsible for reintroducing pro football to Western New York when, as one of the original owners in the American Football League, he formed the Buffalo Bills in 1959.
Wilson played a major role among National Football League franchise owners as "the voice of reason," for his ability to tackle some of the NFL’s toughest issues.
Once described as the "conscience" of the NFL, Wilson has served as the Chairman of NFL Pension Committee and Labor Committee and also served on the Board of NFL Charities, the Super Bowl Site Selection Committee, and the NFL’s Expansion Committee.
Wilson's Bills won 2 AFL Championships (1964-65) and appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls (XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII).
The team also won AFL/AFC Eastern Division titles in 1966, 1980, 1988, 1989, and 1995. The Bills’ 103 regular season wins in the 1990s were second best, behind only the San Francisco 49ers.
Ralph Wilson and Bruce Smith congratulate each other after learning of their election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ralph Wilson, Jr. fields questions.
Ralph Wilson, Jr. answers questions for the media following the announcement.
Wilson poses with his Hall of Fame bust during his Enshrinement.
Wilson received his Hall of Fame ring during a ceremony held at halftime of the Bills-Houston Texans game on Nov. 1, 2009.
Wilson's Hall of Fame bust.
Wilson's Hall of Fame mural.
Ralph unveils the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center on Aug. 3, 2012.