The longtime hands-on owner of the Denver Broncos, Pat Bowlen, passed away at the age of 75 at his home in Englewood, Colorado, his family announced late Thursday night.
The Broncos released a statement on behalf of Bowlen's family, which includes Bowlen’s wife, Annabel, and his seven children: Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.
"We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family. His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.
"Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight.
"Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility.
"More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being."
Under Bowlen's ownership, the Broncos won three Super Bowl titles, including back to back wins in 1998 and 1999 and again in 2016. The team's energetic and hands-on owner was only 40-years-old when he first purchased the football team for $70 million in 1984, and was well known for his active involvement in the club's signing of players.
"One thing that’s important to me is that we put a team on the field that can contend," Bowlen once said. "I like to think that [the Broncos] are going to win the Super Bowl every year. I get a thrill out of that, and I know how much that means to Colorado and to Denver."
John Elway, who played quarterback for all but one of his 16 seasons under Bowlen, mourned the Broncos' owner passing away on Twitter.
"I will miss Pat greatly and will always treasure the times we had together. He was a tremendous mentor and a tremendous friend," Elway wrote. "My heart goes out to Annabel and the entire Bowlen family."
"Nobody is going to care whether the team is worth a billion dollars or whatever," Bowlen once said. "That doesn’t matter. It’s more about how successful you were as an organization and as a team on the field and in the community."
Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2006 and had stepped down from his role running the team in 2014.
Photo: Getty Images