Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson dies at age 90

New Orleans Pelicans and Saints Owner Tom Benson Passes Away at Age 90 New Orleans Pelicans and Saints Owner Tom Benson Passes Away at Age 90
Shannon Reynolds | 16 March, 2018, 00:26

Benson is best known owning the New Orleans Saints since 1985. The team announced that he died peacefully with his wife, Gayle, by his side.

Benson was hospitalized on February 16 with the flu, and according to the teams' statement on his death, he passed away peacefully with his wife, Gayle, at his side. Benson was also hospitalized back in October due to exhaustion.

With those two on board, the Saints made big strides and helped stabilize a franchise that had been put in a precarious position after Hurricane Katrina forced them to play home games in San Antonio, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2005. "He purchased a team that had never had a winning season; by the third year of his ownership, the Saints were in the playoffs". Unhappy with the condition of the Superdome, the Saints appeared to be on the verge of moving before former National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped in and blocked the move.

Benson bought the Saints back in 1985 upon hearing that the franchise would be sold and re-located. The first was hiring Sean Payton as the team's head coach, and the second was signing Drew Brees as his starting quarterback. The team claimed its first Super Bowl championship after the 2009 season.

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"Benson spent the past few years locked in a bitter dispute with his daughter and grandchildren over control of much of his fortune".

Benson also bought the NBA's New Orleans Hornets back in 2012 and renamed them the Pelicans, to make them fit more in with the city of New Orleans.

Thomas Milton Benson, Jr. was born on July 12, 1927 in New Orleans to Thomas Milton Benson Sr. and Carmelite Marie Pintado Benson.

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