Saints owner Tom Benson has died at the age of 90. According to an announcement from the team, Benson passed away peacefully with wife Gayle Marie Benson at his side.
Benson purchased the Saints in 1985 after learning that the team was on the verge of being sold and relocated. Since being purchased by Benson, the Saints have earned eleven playoff berths and won a Super Bowl ring in 2009. Back in 2012, Benson also bought the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans).
We learned earlier this week that Benson was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Ochsner Medical Center (via ESPN’s Mike Triplett). He was admitted several weeks ago with flu symptoms. Benson has battled several ailments in recent years, and he was hospitalized back in October for exhaustion.
Besides owning the two major sports teams in New Orleans, Benson was also known in the area for his charitable work. Through his Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation, the owner was “dedicated to assisting a myriad of charitable, faith-based and educational causes in the New Orleans and South Texas communities” (via a Saints press release).
We at PFR offer our thoughts and condolences to Benson’s family and friends.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.