Russ Brandon, President and CEO of the Buffalo Bills, 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.
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 January 1, 2013, when he appointed Brandon to the team presidency. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
There will come a day when it will be prudent to fret about the future ownership of the Bills and their viability in Western New York. Today is not that day. Today is the day to recognize that we are all here, bonded in our passion for team and region, because of this one man.
Rest in peace, Mr. Wilson. And thank you.