BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who helped found the American Football League in 1960, died at his home on Tuesday afternoon. He was 95.
Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando.
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Wilson was the founder and sole owner of the Bills after establishing the team with the upstart AFL in 1960. He played a key role in the league merger's with the NFL. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Wilson died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., around 1:40 p.m., said Mary Mazur, spokeswoman for the Wayne County medical examiner's office.
He had been receiving in-home hospice care.
Wilson had been in failing health for several years.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released this statement Tuesday:
“Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America's most popular sport. He loved the game and took a chance on a start-up league in 1960 as a founding owner of the American Football League. He brought his beloved Bills to western New York and his commitment to the team's role in the community set a standard for the NFL. As a trusted advisor to his fellow league owners and the commissioner, Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues. His lifelong loyalty to the game was instrumental in his richly deserved induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We are grateful for his many contributions to the NFL and offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Wilson family.”
CSNBayArea.com contributed to this story