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Remembering Pat Bowlen: NFL, Broncos and Colorado communities honor legendary Denver Broncos owner

Broncos owner dies at age 75
Pat Bowlen
Posted at 11:48 AM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-15 00:56:05-04

DENVER — Hall of Fame Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family announced early Friday morning.

There has been an outpouring of support for the longtime and beloved owner, who bought the team in 1984 and led the Broncos to seven Super Bowl appearances and three NFL championships.

MORE: Click here for Broncos Insider Troy Renck's obituary of "Mr. B," with more reaction from those who knew him best.

A public celebration of life for late Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will be held Tuesday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Broncos Stadium at Mile High, the team announced Friday.

We are gathering reaction to Bowlen's death from current and former players, NFL teams and brass, and Colorado leadership below:

Broncos leadership and Bowlen family

Bowlen Family (Wife Annabel, Children Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel, 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.”

Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis
“This is a very sad day for our organization, our community and the National Football League. Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner—He was a Hall of Fame person. His competitiveness, kindness and humility are the qualities that I will always remember. Even during his battle with Alzheimer’s, you could still see that same strength and dignity in Pat that he brought to the office every single day for more than 30 years.

“Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos. He was also an extraordinary leader at the league level during a key period of growth. It wasn’t all about what Pat did as an owner, but it was the way he did it. The relationships he enjoyed with his players were real and sincere. Pat truly cared about the players in a very genuine way and always wanted them to get the credit. He preferred to be in the background and put every resource toward winning Super Bowls. With the fans, Pat felt in many ways that his team belonged to them and approached things with that in mind. There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen. My heart goes out to his wife, Annabel, all of his children and all of our fans.”

Broncos President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway
“Pat gave me so much and he was someone that I always looked up to. He gave this team everything we needed to be the best and compete for championships, and the focus was always on football. That’s all you can ask for in an owner—yet he did more.

“He was a tremendous mentor to me and a tremendous friend. Pat was a great listener, always asking what was going on, and I learned so much from watching him. He was a terrific leader. Whether things were going right or things weren’t going right, he would always let you know what we needed to get better.

“He did a great job of applying pressure at the right times but always trusted his football people to make the right decisions. Other than his family, nothing meant more to Pat than making sure the Denver Broncos were successful. What he did for this team, this city and the entire NFL will never be matched. His shoes will never be filled.

“I will miss Pat greatly and will always treasure the times we had together. We’ll continue to take care of his team as if he were here today. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and the entire Bowlen family.”

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment Owner E. Stanley Kroenke
“Pat Bowlen was much more than a great sports team owner. He was a great man and friend. He cared deeply about his community, always putting his team and his fans first.

“Pat fostered a special bond with his players, encouraging them to be leaders not only on the field but also to be leaders in their community and in business.

“On behalf of my family and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, we wish the Bowlen family and the entire Denver Broncos organization comfort and solace in this difficult time. Mr. Bowlen will be missed, but his legacy and impact in Colorado and the NFL will continue for generations.”

NFL and officials

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Current and former Broncos players

Colorado reactions