Panthers founder, former proprietor Jerry Richardson dies at 86

Jerry Richardson, the Carolina Panthers founder and for years one of many NFL’s most influential house owners till a scandal compelled him to promote the crew, has died. He was 86.

Richardson died peacefully Wednesday night time at his Charlotte residence, the crew stated in a press release.

Richardson turned the primary former NFL participant to personal a crew since Chicago’s George Halas when he landed the growth Panthers in 1993.

A former teammate of Johnny Unitas who caught a landing cross within the Baltimore Colts’ victory over the New York Giants within the 1959 NFL championship sport, Richardson solely spent two years within the NFL earlier than venturing into the restaurant enterprise. He used his championship bonus cash to open the primary Hardee’s in Spartanburg, South Carolina — near the place he had attended Wofford College.

He went on to make his fortune within the restaurant enterprise, turning into chief govt officer of Flagstar, the sixth-largest meals service firm within the nation on the time.

The Spring Hope, North Carolina native spent years making an attempt to steer the NFL to place a crew within the Carolinas, in the end succeeding by means of a comparatively authentic idea of funding a brand new stadium by means of the gross sales of everlasting seat licenses.

“Jerry Richardson’s contributions to professional football in the Carolinas are historic,” present Panthers proprietor David Tepper and his spouse Nicole stated in a press release. “With the arrival of the Panthers in 1995, he changed the landscape of sports in the region and gave the NFL fans here a team to call their own. He was incredibly gracious to me when I purchased the team, and for that I am thankful. Nicole and I extend our deepest condolences to Rosalind, the entire Richardson family, and their loved ones. We wish them much peace and comfort.”

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Reporting by The Associated Press.

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