Jun 182013
 

The owner of a NFL team holds one of the most powerful and influential positions in sports. And success in sports as we all know is mostly presented to us in wins and losses. But a team owner’s W-L-T record is rarely ever counted and presented.

Below is a table that list all of the active and past owners of the NFL’s current 32 franchises. Following that are the wins, losses, ties, and championships that the team won while under the listed owner’s control.

After that table you’ll find another list of the league’s active and past owners, with an explanation on how that individual came to own the team.

Note: Team ownership structures can be complicated. On many occasions a team has/is owned by more than one individual. The list below only includes majority owners. If a team didn’t/doesn’t have a majority owner (i.e. Green Bay Packers) a team president is listed.

Click here for the list of sources I used to compile the research below (additional sources).

 

List of NFL Owners – Past and Present

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header. You can quickly find a specific team or owner using the search box to the right. 

FranchiseFromToSeasonsLeaderWLTW Pct.League Championships
49ers1946195712 seasonsTony Morabito895850.602
49ers195719637 seasonsVic Morabito434710.478
49ers1964197613 seasonsJosephine Morabito & Jane Morabito889180.492
49ers1977199822 seasonsEddie DeBartolo Jr.24313010.6515 (1981, '84, '88-89, '94)
49ers1999201214 seasonsDenise DeBartolo York & John York10612510.459
Bears192019201 seasonA.E. Staley10120.846
Bears1921198363 seasonsGeorge Halas463318400.5888 (1921, '32-33, '40-41, '43, '46, '63)
Bears1983201230 seasonsVirginia Halas McCaskey26622500.5421 (1985)
Bengals1968199023 seasonsPaul Brown17617510.501
Bengals1991201222 seasonsMike Brown13422110.378
Bills1960201253 seasonsRalph Wilson38444080.4662 (AFL 1964-65)
Broncos196019601 seasonBob Howsam4910.321
Broncos196119644 seasonsCal Kunz144020.268
Broncos1965198016 seasonsGerald Phipps & Allan Phipps10612360.464
Broncos198119833 seasonsEdgar Kaiser212100.500
Broncos1984201229 seasonsPat Bowlen29219910.5952 (1997-98)
Browns194619527 seasonsMickey McBride831330.8545 (AAFC 1946-49, NFL 1950)
Browns195319608 seasonsDavid Jones692930.6982 (1954-55)
Browns1961199535 seasonsArt Modell28524770.5351 (1964)
Browns199920024 seasonsAl Lerner154000.273
Browns2002201211 seasonsRandy Lerner5410700.335
Browns201220121 seasonJimmy Haslam4500.444
Buccaneers1976199318 seasonsHugh Culverhouse8219710.295
Buccaneers199419941 seasonStephen Story, Fred Cone, & Jack Donlan61000.375
Buccaneers1995201218 seasonsMalcolm Glazer14714300.5071 (2002)
Cardinals192019289 seasonsChris O’Brien503680.574
Cardinals192919324 seasonsDavid Jones182250.456
Cardinals1933194614 seasonsCharles Bidwill Sr.3810780.2751 (1925)
Cardinals1947196115 seasonsViolet Bidwill Wolfner7210650.4071 (1947)
Cardinals1962197110 seasonsCharles Bidwill Jr.666590.504
Cardinals1962201251 seasonsBill Bidwill328446130.425
Chargers196019656 seasonsBarron Hilton553040.6401 (AFL 1963)
Chargers1966198318 seasonsEugene Klein12613170.491
Chargers1984201229 seasonsAlex Spanos22824900.478
Chiefs1960200647 seasonsLamar Hunt381332120.5343 (AFL 1962, '66, Super Bowl '69)
Chiefs200620127 seasonsClark Hunt317200.301
Colts1953197119 seasonsCarroll Rosenbloom1629460.6304 (1958-59, '68, '70)
Colts1972199625 seasonsRobert Irsay15523310.400
Colts1997201216 seasonsJim Irsay16611000.6011 (2006)
Cowboys1960198324 seasonsClint Murchison Jr.23413460.6342 (1971, '77)
Cowboys198419885 seasonsH.R. “Bum” Bright364400.450
Cowboys1989201224 seasonsJerry Jones21718700.5373 (1992-93, '95)
Dolphins1966198924 seasonsJoe Robbie22714540.6092 (1972-73)
Dolphins199019934 seasonsTim Robbie422600.618
Dolphins1994200815 seasonsWayne Huizenga13112100.520
Dolphins200920124 seasonsStephen Ross273700.422
Eagles193319408 seasonsBert Bell196530.236
Eagles194119488 seasonsAlexis Thompson483750.5611 (1948)
Eagles194919524 seasonsJames P. Clark292000.5921 (1949)
Eagles1953196311 seasonsFrank McNamee607180.4601 (1960)
Eagles196419685 seasonsJerry Wolman284110.407
Eagles1969198416 seasonsLeonard Tose9913360.429
Eagles198519939 seasonsNorman Braman806710.544
Eagles1994201219 seasonsJeffrey Lurie17714720.546
Falcons1966199732 seasonsRankin Smith18530450.380
Falcons199720015 seasonsTaylor Smith383800.500
Falcons2002201211 seasonsArthur Blank1038110.559
Giants192519295 seasonsTim Mara441750.7051 (1927)
Giants1930196435 seasonsJack Mara256162240.6063 (1934, '38, '56)
Giants1965200541 seasonsWellington Mara29733240.4722 (1986, '90)
Giants200520128 seasonsJohn Mara815200.6092 (2007, '11)
Jaguars1995201117 seasonsWayne Weaver14314000.505
Jaguars201220121 seasonShahid Khan21400.125
Jets196019623 seasonsHarry Wismer192300.452
Jets196319675 seasonsSonny Werblin293560.457
Jets196819769 seasonsPhilip Iselin577200.4421 (Super Bowl 1968)
Jets1977199822 seasonsLeon Hess15319720.438
Jets199919991 seasonSteve Gutman8800.500
Jets2000201213 seasonsWoody Johnson11110900.505
Lions193019312 seasonsHarry Snyder16930.625
Lions193219332 seasonsHomer Selby12740.609
Lions193419396 seasonsGeorge Richards462320.6621 (1935)
Lions194019478 seasonsFred Mandel295340.360
Lions194819492 seasonsLyle Fife41800.182
Lions1949196012 seasonsEdwin Anderson825440.6003 (1952-53, '57)
Lions1961201252 seasonsWilliam Clay Ford328458150.419
Packers192119211 seasonJ.E. Clair3210.583
Packers192219221 seasonCurly Lambeau4330.550
Packers192319275 seasonsAndrew Turnbull361650.675
Packers192819281 seasonRay Evrard6430.577
Packers192919291 seasonW.W. Kelly12010.9621 (1929)
Packers1930194718 seasonsLee Joannes1466180.6985 (1930-31, '36, '39, '44)
Packers194819525 seasonsEmil Rischer174300.283
Packers195319575 seasonsRussell Bogda194010.325
Packers1958198124 seasonsDominic Olejniczak183154120.5425 (1961-62, '65-67)
Packers198219887 seasonsRobert Parins436120.415
Packers1989200719 seasonsRobert Harlan19313300.5921 (1996)
Packers200820125 seasonsMark Murphy573000.6551 (2010)
Panthers1995201218 seasonsJerry Richardson13816000.463
Patriots1960198829 seasonsBilly Sullivan20021390.485
Patriots198819914 seasonsVictor Kiam183800.321
Patriots199219932 seasonsJames Orthwein72500.219
Patriots1994201219 seasonsRobert Kraft22511000.6723 (2001, '03-04)
Raiders196019601 seasonChet Soda6800.429
Raiders196119655 seasonsE.J. McGah264130.393
Raiders1966201146 seasonsAl Davis41331480.5674 (AFL 1967, NFL '76, '80, '83)
Raiders201120122 seasonsMark Davis101800.357
Rams193719404 seasonsHomer Marshman142820.341
Rams1941197030 seasonsDaniel Reeves189166150.5312 (1945, '51)
Rams197119711 seasonMary Reeves8510.607
Rams197219787 seasonsCarroll Rosenbloom763220.700
Rams1979200729 seasonsGeorgia Frontiere23324700.4851 (1999)
Rams200820092 seasonsChip Rosenbloom32900.094
Rams201020123 seasonsStan Kroenke163110.344
Ravens199620038 seasonsArt Modell686610.5071 (2000)
Ravens200420129 seasonsSteve Bisciotti966200.6081 (2012)
Redskins1932196231 seasonsGeorge Preston Marshall167179200.4842 (1937, '42)
Redskins196319642 seasonsLeo C. De Orsey91900.321
Redskins196519739 seasonsEdward Bennett Williams685760.542
Redskins1974199623 seasonsJack Kent Cooke22315200.5953 (1982, '87, '92)
Redskins199719982 seasonsJohn Kent Cooke141710.453
Redskins1999201214 seasonsDaniel Snyder10312700.448
Saints1967198418 seasonsJohn Mecom7817650.311
Saints1985201228 seasonsTom Benson23422700.5081 (2009)
Seahawks197619827 seasonsElmer Nordstrom396200.386
Seahawks198319875 seasonsJohn Nordstrom513400.600
Seahawks198819969 seasonsKen Behring618400.421
Seahawks1997201216 seasonsPaul Allen13813200.511
Steelers1933198755 seasonsArt Rooney334362190.4674 (1974-75, '78-79)
Steelers1988201225 seasonsDan Rooney26017010.6042 (2005, '08)
Texans2002201211 seasonsBob McNair7910100.439
Titans1960201253 seasonsBud Adams40642560.4892 (AFL 1960-61)
Vikings196119644 seasonsBill Boyer183530.348
Vikings1965198622 seasonsMax Winter19114460.5691 (NFL 1969)
Vikings198719904 seasonsWheelock Whitney383100.551
Vikings199119977 seasonsRoger Headrick655300.551
Vikings199820047 seasonsRed McCombs675100.568
Vikings200520128 seasonsZygi Wilf666800.493

 

History of NFL Ownership – Current Franchises

Note: All W-L-T records include playoff wins and losses.  Games were counted up until the sale of the team, departure from the team, or the team owner’s death.

 

Arizona Cardinals

Former names: Chicago Cardinals 1920-59; St. Louis Cardinals 1960-87; Phoenix Cardinals 1988-93

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1920-1928 Chris O’Brien 50 36 8 0.574  
1929-1932 David Jones 18 22 5 0.456  
1933-1946 Charles Bidwill Sr. 38 107 8 0.275 1 (1925)
1947-1961 Violet Bidwill Wolfner 72 106 5 0.407 1 (1947)
1962-1971 Charles Bidwill Jr. 66 65 9 0.504  
1962- Bill Bidwill 328 446 13 0.425  

 

Summary: Chris O’Brien was the owner of the Chicago Cardinals when the team was a founding member of the NFL in 1920. He sold the team to Dr. David Jones for a reported $25,000 dollars in July of 1929.

Charles Bidwill bought the Cardinals from Dr. David Jones for $50,000 dollars in September of 1933. When Charles Bidwill passed away in April of 1947, his wife Violet Bidwill took over ownership of the team.

When Violet passed away in January of 1962, her sons Charles and Bill (current owner) were the team’s owners. Before the 1972 season, Bill bought out Charles’ 50% stake in the team for a reported $6.5 million dollars.

 

Atlanta Falcons

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1966-1997 Rankin Smith 185 304 5 0.380  
1997-2001 Taylor Smith 38 38 0 0.500  
2002- Arthur Blank 103 81 1 0.559  

 

Summary: Rankin Smith bought the expansion Atlanta Falcons in 1965, for a reported $8.5 million dollars. Smith passed away on October 26, 1997. His son, Taylor Smith, who had been team’s president since 1990, took over as the Falcons’ managing owner.

In February of 2002, the NFL’s owners approved Arthur Blank’s $545-million dollar purchase of the Atlanta Falcons from the Smith family.

 

Baltimore Ravens

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1996-2003 Art Modell 68 66 1 0.507 1 (2000)
2004- Steve Bisciotti 96 62 0 0.608 1 (2012)

 

Summary: Art Modell was the owner of the Cleveland Browns, but moved to the team to Baltimore in 1996. Modell was forced to give up the Browns’ namesake and history – thus the Baltimore Ravens were born.

In April of 2004, Steve Bisciotti became the principal owner of the Baltimore Ravens. In a deal that started in 1999, Bisciotti paid a total of $600 million dollars for the team.

 

Buffalo Bills

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960- Ralph Wilson 384 440 8 0.466 2 (AFL 1964-65)

 

Summary: Ralph Wilson Jr. paid $25,000 dollars for Buffalo’s AFL franchise in 1959.

 

Carolina Panthers

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1995- Jerry Richardson 138 160 0 0.463  

 

Summary Jerry Richardson, a former player with the Baltimore Colts, paid a $140-million dollar expansion fee for the Carolina Panthers.

 

Chicago Bears

Former names: Decatur Staleys 1920; Chicago Staleys 1921

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1920 A.E. Staley 10 1 2 0.846  
1921-1983 George Halas 463 318 40 0.588 8 (1921, ’32-33, ’40-41, ’43, ’46, ’63)
1983- Virginia Halas McCaskey 266 225 0 0.542 1 (1985)

 

Summary: A.E. Staley, the Decatur Staleys’ sponsor, offered the team to George Halas for $5,000 dollars in 1921.  Halas owned the team until his death on October 31, 1983. Virginia Halas McCaskey, the daughter of Halas, has been the principal owner of the team since then.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1968-1990 Paul Brown 176 175 1 0.501  
1991- Mike Brown 134 221 1 0.378  

 

Summary: A group of Cincinnati businessmen led by coaching legend Paul Brown, paid an expansion fee of approximately $8 million dollars for the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown was handed managing control of the team.

When Brown passed away on August 5, 1991, his son Mike Brown took over control of the team.

 

Cleveland Browns

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1946-1952 Mickey McBride 83 13 3 0.854 5 (AAFC 1946-49, NFL 1950)
1953-1960 David Jones 69 29 3 0.698 2 (1954-55)
1961-1995 Art Modell 285 247 7 0.535 1 (1964)
1999-2002 Al Lerner 15 40 0 0.273  
2002-2012 Randy Lerner 54 107 0 0.335  
2012- Jimmy Haslam 4 5 0 0.444  

 

Summary: Mickey McBride founded the Cleveland Browns in 1944 (first game wasn’t until 1946), making an initial investment of $300,000 dollars to start up the AAFC team. In 1953, McBride sold the team to a group of Cleveland businessmen for $600,000 dollars. Part owner David Jones was named the club’s president.

In 1961, Art Modell and R.J. Schaefer bought the Browns for $4 million dollars – Modell took on the role of team CEO. Modell remained the managing owner of the Browns up until 1995; when he moved the team to Baltimore.

In September of 1998, it was announced that Al Lerner would be the owner of the new Cleveland Browns. He placed a bid of $530 million dollars for the team. Lerner passed away in the middle of the 2002 season, and the reigns of the Browns were given to his son Randy Lerner.

Jimmy Haslam became the Browns’ owner on October 16, 2012, when his billion-dollar purchase of the team was approved by the NFL’s owners.

 

Dallas Cowboys

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960-1983 Clint Murchison Jr. 234 134 6 0.634 2 (1971, ’77)
1984-1988 H.R. “Bum” Bright 36 44 0 0.450  
1989- Jerry Jones 217 187 0 0.537 3 (1992-93, ’95)

 

Summary: Clint Murchison Jr. and Bedford Wynne bought the Dallas Cowboys for an expansion fee of $1 million dollars. Although he is not listed above, Bedford Wynne was highly involved with the Cowboys during their early years.

In the May of 1984, H.R. “Bum” Bright and a group of Dallas businessmen bought the Cowboys for $80 million dollars. A few years later, Bright sold the Cowboys to Jerry Jones for $140 million dollars.

 

Denver Broncos

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960 Bob Howsam 4 9 1 0.321  
1961-1964 Cal Kunz 14 40 2 0.268  
1965-1980 Gerald Phipps & Allan Phipps 106 123 6 0.464  
1981-1983 Edgar Kaiser 21 21 0 0.500  
1984- Pat Bowlen 292 199 1 0.595 2 (1997-98)

 

Summary: Bob Howsam of the Rocky Mountain Empire Sports, Inc. founded the Broncos in 1960. One year later (1961) he sold his majority stake in the team to Cal Kunz, Allan Phipps, and Gerald Phipps – Kunz was named the team’s president.

In February of 1965, the Phipps brothers bought out their partners, and became sole owners of the Broncos for $1.5 million dollars.

Edgar Kaiser bought the Broncos for a reported $30 million from the Phipps brothers in February of 1981.  In March of 1984, Pat Bowlen bought a majority stake in the Broncos for a reported $70 million dollars.

 

Detroit Lions

Former name: Portsmouth Spartans 1930-33

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1930-1931 Harry Snyder 16 9 3 0.625  
1932-1933 Homer Selby 12 7 4 0.609   
1934-1939 George Richards 46 23 2 0.662 1 (1935)
1940-1947 Fred Mandel 29 53 4 0.360  
1948-1949 Lyle Fife 4 18 0 0.182  
1949-1960 Edwin Anderson 82 54 4 0.600 3 (1952-53, ’57)
1961- William Clay Ford 328 458 15 0.419  

 

Summary: Multiple people owned the Portsmouth Spartans (the Lions’ predecessor); but Harry Snyder, the team’s president, owned the most shares when the team joined the NFL in 1930

Homer Selby took over as the Spartans’ president in 1932, after leading an investment drive that saved the team. 

In March of 1934, George Richards and a group of Detroit businessmen bought a majority stake in the Portsmouth Spartans for $15,000 dollars. They subsequently moved the team to Detroit and renamed them the Lions.

In January of 1940, the Lions were sold to Fred Mandel and two other Detroit businessmen for $200,000 dollars – with Mandel becoming the team’s majority owner.

Mandel sold the Lions to a group of seven Detroit businessmen for $200,000 dollars in January of 1948. Dr. Lyle Fife was named the team’s president.

Dr. Lyle Fife resigned as the team’s president in December of 1949, and he was replaced by Edwin Anderson.

William Clay Ford took over as the team’s president in January of 1961. Ford became the Lions’ sole owner in November of 1963, when he bought out all of the Lions’ other shareholders (approx. 143 individuals) for $6 million dollars.

 

Green Bay Packers

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1921 J.E. Clair 3 2 1 0.583  
1922 Curly Lambeau 4 3 3 0.550  
1923-1927 Andrew Turnbull 36 16 5 0.675  
1928 Ray Evrard 6 4 3 0.577  
1929 W.W. Kelly 12 0 1 0.962 1 (1929)
1930-1947 Lee Joannes 146 61 8 0.698 5 (1930-31, ’36, ’39, ’44)
1948-1952 Emil Rischer 17 43 0 0.283  
1953-1957 Russell Bogda 19 40 1 0.325  
1958-1981 Dominic Olejniczak 183 154 12 0.542 5 (1961-62, ’65-67)
1982-1988 Robert Parins 43 61 2 0.415  
1989-2007 Robert Harlan 193 133 0 0.592 1 (1996)
2008- Mark Murphy 57 30 0 0.655 1 (2010)

 

Summary: According to the Green Bay Packers media guide, J.E. Clair of the Acme Packing Company, was the owner of the Green Bay Packers when they were admitted into the NFL in 1921.

Curley Lambeau and his associates bought the Packers for $250 dollars in 1922; at the end of that season the Packers were reorganized into a public non-profit corporation. Since then, the Packers have never had an “owner”. The team’s president is often regarded as the highest authority within the Packers organization. Thus all of  the team’s presidents have been listed above.

 

Houston Texans

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
2002- Bob McNair 79 101 0 0.439  

 

Summary: Bob McNair paid $700 million dollars for the expansion Houston Texans. 

 

Indianapolis Colts

Former name: Baltimore Colts 1953-83

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1953-1971 Carroll Rosenbloom 162 94 6 0.630 4 (1958-59, ’68, ’70)
1972-1996 Robert Irsay 155 233 1 0.400  
1997- Jim Irsay 166 110 0 0.601 1 (2006)

 

Summary: Carroll Rosenbloom and four other investors brought the second edition of the Colts into the NFL in 1953. The team replaced the bankrupt Dallas Texans.

In one of the most unique trades in the history of professional sports. Robert Irsay became the owner of the Colts in the summer of 1972, when he and Carroll Rosenbloom swapped franchises – Irsay was briefly the owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

Robert Irsay passed away in January of 1997; his son Jim Irsay took over as the team’s managing owner.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1995-2011 Wayne Weaver 143 140 0 0.505  
2012- Shahid Khan 2 14 0 0.125  

 

Summary: Wayne Weaver paid a $140-million dollar expansion fee for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995.

At the end of the 2011 season, Weaver sold the Jaguars to Shahid Khan for $770 million dollars.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

Former name: Dallas Texans 1960-62

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960-2006 Lamar Hunt 381 332 12 0.534 3 (AFL 1962, ’66, Super Bowl ’69)
2006- Clark Hunt 31 72 0 0.301  

 

Summary: Lamar Hunt brought the Dallas Texans into the AFL for a $25,000-dollar fee. In 1963, he moved the club to Kansas City and renamed them the Chiefs. Lamar Hunt passed away during the middle of the 2006 season, and his son Clark Hunt took over as the team’s managing owner.

 

Miami Dolphins

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1966-1989 Joe Robbie 227 145 4 0.609 2 (1972-73)
1990-1993 Tim Robbie 42 26 0 0.618  
1994-2008 Wayne Huizenga 131 121 0 0.520  
2009- Stephen Ross 27 37 0 0.422  

 

Summary: Joe Robbie founded the Dolphins in 1965, when he and a small group of investors (including comedian Danny Thomas) put up $7.5 million dollars for an AFL expansion team.

By the early 1970s, Joe Robbie was the sole owner of the Miami Dolphins. When Robbie passed away in January of 1990, his son Tim took over as the team’s president.

Wayne Huizenga reportedly spent $140 million dollars to buy a majority stake in the Dolphins during the offseason of 1994.

In February of 2009, Stephen Ross became the majority owner of the Miami Dolphins. A year earlier Ross bought a 50% stake in the team from Huizenga, with the stipulation that Ross would would eventually become the team’s general partner. It was reported that Ross shelled out a total of $1 billion dollars for the team.

 

Minnesota Vikings

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1961-1964 Bill Boyer 18 35 3 0.348  
1965-1986 Max Winter 191 144 6 0.569 1 (1969)
1987-1990 Wheelock Whitney 38 31 0 0.551  
1991-1997 Roger Headrick 65 53 0 0.551  
1998-2004 Red McCombs 67 51 0 0.568  
2005- Zygi Wilf 66 68 0 0.493  

 

Summary: In 1961, a group of Minnesota businessmen bought the Minnesota Vikings for an expansion fee of $1 million dollars. Bill Boyer was the team’s first president.

Boyer was replaced by Max Winter in 1965. Winter held onto the team’s president role until September of 1987, which is when he was replaced by Wheelock Whitney. Roger Headrick took over for Whitney in January of 1991.

In July of 2008, Red McCombs bought a majority stake in the Vikings for a reported $206 million dollars.

A group of investors led by Zygi Wilf purchased the Vikings for $600 million dollars in June of 2005.

 

New England Patriots

Former name: Boston Patriots 1960-70

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960-1988 Billy Sullivan 200 213 9 0.485  
1988-1991 Victor Kiam 18 38 0 0.321  
1992-1993 James Orthwein 7 25 0 0.219  
1994- Robert Kraft 225 110 0 0.672 3 (2001, ’03-04)

 

Summary: Billy Sullivan was the Patriots’ first owner/president. On October 27, 1988, Sullivan sold the franchise to Victor Kiam for a reported $85 million dollars.

Kiam ran into debt problems and sold the team to James Orthwein for $23.5 million dollars in May of 1992. Orthwein also paid off Kiam’s debt of approximately $90 million dollars.

In February of 1994, Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots for a reported $172 million dollars.

 

New Orleans Saints

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1967-1984 John Mecom 78 176 5 0.311  
1985- Tom Benson 234 227 0 0.508 1 (2009)

 

Summary: John Mecom, backed by a group of investors, purchased the New Orleans Saints for an $8.5-million dollar expansion fee in 1965. In 1985, Mecom sold the Saints to Tom Benson for over $64 million dollars.

 

New York Giants

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1925-1929 Tim Mara 44 17 5 0.705 1 (1927)
1930-1964 Jack Mara 256 162 24 0.606 3 (1934, ’38, ’56)
1965-2005 Wellington Mara 297 332 4 0.472 2 (1986, ’90)
2005- John Mara 81 52 0 0.609 2 (2007, ’11)

 

Summary: Tim Mara founded the Giants in 1925, for a reported $500 dollars. In 1930, Tim Mara transferred ownership of the club to his two sons Jack and Wellington. Jack Mara was only 22 years old when he became the team’s president. Jack passed away in 1965, and his younger brother Wellington took over as the team’s president.

In February of 1991, Bob Tisch bought a 50% stake in the Giants for a reported $80 million dollars.  However, Wellington Mara remained the team’s president.  On October 24, 2005, Wellington Mara passed away;  his son John Mara took the reigns as the team’s president.

Bob Tisch also passed away in 2005. Steve Tisch stepped into his father’s role as chairman of the team.

 

New York Jets

Former name: New York Titans 1960-62

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960-1962 Harry Wismer 19 23 0 0.452  
1963-1967 Sonny Werblin 29 35 6 0.457  
1968-1976 Philip Iselin 57 72 0 0.442 1 (Super Bowl 1968)
1977-1998 Leon Hess 153 197 2 0.438  
1999 Steve Gutman 8 8 0 0.500  
2000- Woody Johnson 111 109 0 0.505  

 

Summary: Harry Wismer was the original owner of the New York Jets’ franchise (then known as the Titans).

In March of 1963, Wismer sold the team for $1 million dollars to a group led by Sonny Werblin called the Gotham Football Club.

Werblin sold his shares to the team’s four other owners – Townsend Martin, Leon Hess, Philip Iselin, and Donald Lillis in the March of 1968.  Lillis replaced Wismer as the team’s president, but he died before the team even stepped onto the field that season. Philip Iselin then stepped into Lillis’ role.

Leon Hess was named the team’s president when Iselin passed away on December 28, 1976.

When Leon Hess died in 1999, his will specifically barred his family from taking over the team. The Jets were put up for sale, and team president Steve Gutman was in charge for that one season (1999).

In 2000, Woody Johnson bought the Jets for $635 million dollars.

 

Oakland Raiders

Former name: Los Angeles Raiders 1982-94

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960 Chet Soda 6 8 0 0.429  
1961-1965 E.J. McGah 26 41 3 0.393  
1966-2011 Al Davis 413 314 8 0.567 (4) AFL 1967, NFL ’76, ’80, ’83
2011- Mark Davis 10 18 0 0.357  

 

Summary: Chet Soda – along with seven other investors – was awarded the AFL’s Oakland franchise in 1959. 

In 1961, the team’s ownership was consolidated to three people: E.J. McGah, Wayne Valley, and Robert Osborne.  McGah became the Raiders’ team president.

After resigning his post as AFL commissioner, Al Davis returned to the Raiders in August of 1966. Davis obtained ownership in the team and became the Raiders’ managing partner.

Wayne Valley tried to remove Al Davis as the Raiders’ managing partner in the early 1970s; claiming he had no previous knowledge of a contract that gave Davis exclusive power. Valley lost that legal battle, and Davis retained control of the team.

Al Davis passed away on October 8, 2011. Davis’ son Mark took over control of the team.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1933-1940 Bert Bell 19 65 3 0.236  
1941-1948 Alexis Thompson 48 37 5 0.561 1 (1948)
1949-1952 James P. Clark 29 20 0 0.592 1 (1949)
1953-1963 Frank McNamee 60 71 8 0.460 1 (1960)
1964-1968 Jerry Wolman 28 41 1 0.407  
1969-1984 Leonard Tose 99 133 6 0.429  
1985-1993 Norman Braman 80 67 1 0.544  
1994- Jeffrey Lurie 177 147 2 0.546  

 

Summary: In 1933, Bert Bell and Lud Wray bought the idle Frankford Yellow Jackets for $2,500 dollars. The team started anew as the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1936, Bert Bell became the sole owner of the Eagles for $4,000 dollars.

After the 1940 season, Art Rooney – the Pittsburgh Seelers’ owner – sold his team to the Alexis Thompson and a group of investors for an estimated $165,000 dollars. Rooney took the proceeds from his sale, and bought into the Philadelphia Eagles. A few months later, Bell and Rooney traded the Eagles to Alexis Thompson for the Steelers.

In January of 1949, Thompson sold the Eagles to a group of one hundred Philadelphia-based investors for $250,000 dollars. The group was headed by James P. Clark, who represented the Eagles at league meetings. In the offseason of 1953, Clark resigned his position as team president, and Frank McNamee took over the role.

In January of 1964, Jerry Wolman’s $5,505,500 purchase of the Eagles was approved by the NFL’s owners. Wolman owned 51% of the franchise.

In May of 1969, Jerry Wolman was facing bankruptcy and sold the Eagles to Leonard Tose for a reported $16.155 million dollars.

Soon after Wolman tried to void the sale; claiming he was given an option to buy back the team if he could come up with the funding. Wolman was even able to get a judge to issue a freeze on the Eagles’ assets, but it was to no avail. In 1975, the Eagles’ ownership issue was put to rest as a judge ruled that Tose was under no obligation to sell the team back to Wolman.

In 1985, Tose sold the Eagles to Norman Braman and Ed Leibowitz for a reported $65 million dollars – Braman held a 65% stake in the team. In April of 1994, Braman sold the Eagles to Jeffrey Lurie for a reported $185 million dollars.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Former name: Pittsburgh Pirates 1933-39

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1933-1987 Art Rooney 334 362 19 0.467 4 (1974-75, ’78-79)
1988- Dan Rooney 260 170 1 0.604 2 (2005, ’08)

 

Summary: Art Rooney brought the Pittsburgh Pirates (later to be named Steelers) into the NFL for $2,500 dollars. 

Rooney sold the team to Alexis Thompson in 1940, and with the proceeds he became a part owner of the Philadelphia Eagles with Bert Bell. A few months later Rooney would once again own the NFL’s Pittsburgh franchise, when he and Bell traded the Eagles for the soon to be renamed Pirates. In February of 1946, Rooney bought Bell’s share of the team.

Art Rooney handed the reigns of the franchise to his son Dan Rooney in 1975, naming him the team’s president. Art Rooney became the team’s chairman until his death in August of 1988.

In 2003, it was reported in the Steelers media guide that Dan Rooney’s son Art Rooney II was taking over as the team’s president. Dan Rooney took on the role of team chairman.

 

San Diego Chargers

Former name: Los Angeles Chargers 1960

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960-1965 Barron Hilton 55 30 4 0.640 1 (AFL 1963)
1966-1983 Eugene Klein 126 131 7 0.491  
1984- Alex Spanos 228 249 0 0.478  

 

Summary: Hotel mogul Barron Hilton was the Chargers’ first owner. The team spent one year in Los Angeles before he moved them to San Diego. In August of 1966, Hilton sold the Chargers for $10 million dollars to a group of Southern California businessmen led by Eugene Klein.

In 1984, Klein sold his majority stake in the team to Alex Spanos for a reported $40 million dollars.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1946-1957 Tony Morabito 89 58 5 0.602  
1957-1963 Vic Morabito 43 47 1 0.478  
1964-1976 Josephine Morabito & Jane Morabito 88 91 8 0.492  
1977-1998 Edward DeBartolo Jr. 243 130 1 0.651 5 (1981, ’84, ’88-89, ’94)
1999- Denise DeBartolo York & John York 106 125 1 0.459  

 

Summary: Tony Morabito and a group of business partners brought San Francisco into the AAFC in 1944 (first game was played in 1946).

On October 27, 1957, Tony Morabito died of a heart attack while attending a 49ers game at Kezar Stadium. His brother Vic Morabito took over control of the team. Vic passed away in May of 1964, and control of the team was split between Tony’s wife Josephine and Vic’s wife Jane.

Edward DeBartolo Jr. purchased the 49ers for a reported $16.5 million dollars in March of 1977.

In December of 1997, DeBartolo was facing legal issues and handed control of the franchise over to his sister Denise DeBartolo York; although Edward still retained ownership of the team. In July of 1999, Edward and Denise completed a deal which gave ownership of the 49ers to Denise and her husband John York.

 

Seattle Seahawks

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1976-1982 Elmer Nordstrom 39 62 0 0.386  
1983-1987 John Nordstrom 51 34 0 0.600  
1988-1996 Ken Behring 61 84 0 0.421  
1997- Paul Allen 138 132 0 0.511  

 

Summary: In 1974, Lloyd Nordstrom and a group of investors paid a $16-million dollar expansion fee for a NFL franchise in Seattle. Nordstrom had a reported 51% stake in the team. Before the team ever took the field, Nordstrom passed away and controlling interest of the Seahawks was given to his brother Elmer Nordstrom. During the 1983 offseason, John Nordstrom became the managing general partner of the Seahawks.

In August of 1988, the Nordstrom’s sold the Seahawks to California real estate developer Ken Behring for a reported $80 million dollars.  

Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft, officially bought the Seahawks from Behring for a reported $200 million dollars in July of 1997 – thus keeping the team in The Emerald City.

 

St. Louis Rams

Former names: Cleveland Rams 1937-45; Los Angeles Rams 1946-94

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1937-1940 Homer Marshman 14 28 2 0.341  
1941-1970 Daniel Reeves 189 166 15 0.531 2 (1945, ’51)
1971 Mary Reeves 8 5 1 0.607  
1972-1978 Carroll Rosenbloom 76 32 2 0.700  
1979-2007 Georgia Frontiere 233 247 0 0.485 1 (1999)
2008-2009 Chip Rosenbloom 3 29 0 0.094  
2010- Stan Kroenke 16 31 1 0.344  

 

Summary: In 1937, the NFL granted the city of Cleveland a franchise under the guidance of Homer Marshman. 

In June of 1941, the Rams were sold to a group led by Daniel Reeves for a reported $140,000 dollars.

In 1948, Reeves sold some of his ownership in the Rams, so that the team team could stay afloat. Reeves and Edwin Pauly each had a one-third stake in the team. Reeves and Pauly were often in disagreement, and the NFL assigned Pete Rozelle – the NFL’s future commissioner – to be the team’s general manager. 

The drama ended in December of 1962, when Reeves bought out Pauly and the team’s other owners for a reported $4.8 million dollars.

Daniel Reeves passed away in April of 1971, and his wife Mary Reeves took over as the team’s principal owner. In July of 1972, Mary sold her 51% interest in the team to Robert Irsay. As soon as Irsay became the majority owner of the Rams, he traded the franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom for the Baltimore Colts.

On April 2, 1979, Carroll Rosenbloom tragically died by drowning. His wife, Georgia (Frontiere), inherited a majority ownership stake in the team.

Frontiere passed away in January of 2008, and her son Chip Rosenbloom took over as the Rams’ managing partner.

On August 25, 2010, Stan Kroenke became the sole owner of the Rams – upping his 40% stake in the team to 100% for a reported $750 million dollars.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1976-1993 Hugh Culverhouse 82 197 1 0.295  
1994 Stephen Story, Fred Cone, & Jack Donlan 6 10 0 0.375  
1995- Malcolm Glazer 147 143 0 0.507 1 (2002)

 

Summary: Hugh Culverhouse was awarded the NFL’s Tampa franchise for a $16-million dollar expansion fee in 1974. 

In August of 1994, Culverhouse passed away, and control of the team was handed to Stephen Story (Culverhouse’s law partner), Jack Donlan, and Fred Cone.

In March of 1995, the Buccaneers were sold to Malcolm Glazer for a reported $192 million dollars.

 

Tennessee Titans

Former names: Houston Oilers 1960-96; Tennessee Oilers 1997-98

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1960- Bud Adams 406 425 6 0.489 2 (AFL 1960-61)

 

Summary: Bud Adams brought the Houston Oilers into the AFL for a fee of $25,000 dollars. In 1997, Adams moved the Oilers to the state of Tennessee, and he changed the team’s name to the Titans in 1999.

 

Washington Redskins

Former names: Boston Braves 1932; Boston Redskins 1933-36

Seasons Leader W L T W Pct. League Championships
1932-1962 George Preston Marshall 167 179 20 0.484 2 (1937, ’42)
1963-1964 Leo C. De Orsey 9 19 0 0.321  
1965-1973 Edward Bennett Williams 68 57 6 0.542  
1974-1996 Jack Kent Cooke 223 152 0 0.595 3 (1982, ’87, ’92)
1997-1998 John Kent Cooke 14 17 1 0.453  
1999- Daniel Snyder 103 127 0 0.448  

 

Summary: George Preston Marshall and a group of businessmen founded the Boston Braves football club in 1932. 

In July of 1963, George Preston Marshall was stricken with illness, and Leo C. De Orsey took over as the “acting” owner of the Redskins.  In May of 1965, De Orsey passed away, and Edward Bennett Williams took over control of the club.  In 1969, President Emeritus George Preston Marshall passed away.

Jack Kent Cooke became the majority owner of the Redskins in April of 1974.  Edward Bennett Williams would remain the team’s president until his resignation in March of 1985; after that Cooke became the Redskins’ sole owner.

Jack Kent Cooke passed away in April of 1997, and the management of the team was passed on to his son John Kent Cooke.  However, the actual ownership of the team was placed in a trust to be sold. John Kent Cooke made two bids for the team, but ultimately Daniel Snyder won out with his $800-million dollar purchase of the team.

 

  2 Responses to “List of NFL Owners – Past and Present”

  1. Andrew, this is a wonderful reference source.

    Could you please update this given the recent deaths of the Lions’, Bills’, Titans’ and Bucs’ owners?

    Thanks

    Mark

  2. I’ll be doing some updates a few weeks from now. This article is one of my own favorites so it’ll be updated. Thank you for the compliment.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.