NFL: Titans owner Bud Adams dead at 90
Last Updated: October 21, 2013 7:08pm
Bud Adams: 1923-2013
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, one of the co-founders of the American Football League, has died at the age of 90.
Adams passed away peacefully from natural causes at his Houston home on Monday morning, the Titans said in a statement.
The son of a prominent oil executive, Adams built his own energy fortune, using it to found the Houston Oilers.
"He was an brilliant entrepreneur with a terrific sense of humour that helped lighten many a tense meeting."
The Oilers were part of the AFL - which later merged with the NFL - from its debut in 1960.
He moved the franchise to Memphis in 1997 and then Nashville, where they became Tennessee Titans.
His death leaves Buffalo Bills' Ralph Wilson as the last surviving original AFL owner.
The Oilers were the first team to play indoors at the Houston Astrodome, their home until the controversial move to Tennessee.
The Titans reached the Super Bowl in the 1999 season.
Adams also owned the Houston Mavericks of the American Basketball Association from 1967-69 and the Nashville Kats of the Arena League from 2001-07.
'Pioneer and innovator'
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was among those to pay tribute.
Goodell said: "Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator.
"As a founding owner of the American Football League that began play in 1960, Bud saw the potential of pro football and brought the game to new cities and new heights of popularity, first in Houston and then in Nashville.
"He was an brilliant entrepreneur with a terrific sense of humour that helped lighten many a tense meeting.
"His commitment to the best interests of the game and league was unwavering, and his personal along with the team's impact in community relations and philanthropy set a standard for the NFL. Bud was truly a gift to the NFL.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to his daughters Susan and Amy, and the entire family."