Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 - ESPN.com - Go.com

Bud Adams, owner of Tennessee Titans-Houston Oilers franchise, dies - ESPN EDITIONS: USA ESPAÑOL More Australia Brazil United Kingdom CITIES: BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS LOS ANGELES NEW YORK ESPN NFL Shop Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 Updated: October 21, 2013, 5:02 PM ET ESPN.com news services Recommend0 Tweet0 Comments0Email Print Titans Owner Bud Adams Dies At 90Bill Polian reflects on the life and accomplishments of Tennessee Titans franchise founder and owner Bud Adams, who died early Monday morning at the age of 90.Tags: NFL, Titans, Bud AdamsTitans Owner Bud Adams Dies At 90NEXT VIDEO Titans Owner Bud Adams Dies At 90Titans Owner Bud Adams Dies At 90Bill Polian reflects on the life and accomplishments of Tennessee Titans franchise founder and owner Bud Adams, who died early Monday morning at the age of 90.Tags: NFL, Titans, Bud AdamsSunday Blitz: 49ers-Titans RecapSunday Blitz: 49ers-Titans RecapJim Basquil and Eric Allen break down the 49ers' Week 7 win over the Titans.Tags: NFL, recap, week 7, Jim Basquil, Eric Allen, 49ers, Titans49ers-Titans review49ers-Titans review: Bill Williamson and Paul Kuharsky discuss how the 49ers and Titans are heading in opposite directions.Tags: Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, who helped found the American Football League and whose battles for players helped lead to the merger with the NFL, has died. He was 90.

The team announced Monday that Adams had died, saying he "passed away peacefully from natural causes."

[+] EnlargeFrederick Breedon/Getty ImagesBud Adams moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee after the 1996 season. His 409 wins were the most of any current NFL owner.

The son of a prominent oil executive, Adams built his own energy fortune and founded the Houston Oilers. He moved the team to Tennessee in 1997 when he couldn't get the new stadium he wanted in Houston. The franchise, renamed the Titans, in 2000 reached the Super Bowl that Adams had spent more than three decades pursuing.

Adams' 409 wins were the most of any current NFL owner. He got his 400th career win in the 2011 season finale when the Titans defeated the team that replaced his Oilers in Houston, the Texans. His franchise made 21 playoff appearances in 53 seasons, eighth among NFL teams since 1960.

"I consider Bud one of the founders of the game of professional football because of his role in helping to create the American Football League," Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called Adams 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," Goodell said in a statement.

Kenneth Stanley Adams Jr. was born in Bartlesville, Okla., to the future chief executive of Phillips Petroleum Co., K.S. "Boots" Adams.

Adams joined Dallas oilman Lamar Hunt on Aug. 3, 1959, when they announced the AFL would begin competing with the NFL at a news conference in Adams' office. Adams founded one of the new league's charter franchises.

"When my father Lamar set out to start a new league to rival the NFL in 1959, the first person he went to visit was Bud Adams," Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. "Lamar, Bud and the other visionary owners of the American Football League believed that fans across the country would embrace pro football if given the chance, and they were right.

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While Bud Adams may have always been the villain in Houston, Nashville will forever be grateful for the franchise's longtime owner, writes Paul Kuharsky. Blog

"Although Lamar's Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs and Bud's Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans were natural rivals on the field, Lamar and Bud enjoyed a friendship that spanned five decades and saw the emergence of pro football as America's game. Our family will always appreciate Bud's spirited and enthusiastic support of my father's 'foolish' idea, and we are saddened today by the news of his passing."

The NFL retaliated by placing the Cowboys in Dallas and tried to get into Houston, but Adams held the lease to the one available stadium.

"I wanted to be the only pro team," Adams said in a 2002 interview with The Associated Press.

He won a major battle with the NFL in June 1960, shortly before the AFL's debut, when a judge ruled LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon -- who signed with the Oilers underneath the goalposts after the Sugar Bowl that year -- was their property despite having later signed with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.

"It was a big step for us," Adams said.

The Oilers won the first two AFL titles and reached the championship game four times during the 1960s. In 1968, the Oilers became the first indoor football team when they moved into the 3-year-old Astrodome.

Meanwhile, Adams quietly became one of the nation's wealthiest oilmen as his ADA Oil Co. evolved into the publicly traded Adams Resources & Energy Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Houston. His business interests included farming and ranching in Texas and California, cattle feeding, real estate and automobile sales.

By The Numbers

How the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans fared under owner Bud Adams:

Seasons 54 Winning Seasons 23 10-Win Seasons 17 Playoff App. 21 Hall of Famers 12 Championships 2 SPONSORED HEADLINES MORE NFL HEADLINES Freeman still Vikes' QB despite dud of debut Harvin itching to play but preaches patience Source: Jets tipped refs on Patriots' FG push Agent: Pot not why Texans released client MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM Boston Mayor Menino hopes Red Sox win 'Cup' Aledo coach accused of bullying after 91-0 win Miami avoids bowl ban, loses scholarships Stark: October is a way of life for Cardinals Comments

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Denver's loss means we have a new No. 1 (hello, Chiefs). What else has changed?

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Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 - CNN.com SET EDITION:  U.S. INTERNATIONAL MÉXICO ARABIC TV:   CNN CNNi CNN en Español HLN Sign up Log in Home TV & Video CNN Trends U.S. World Politics Justice Entertainment Tech Health Living Travel Opinion iReport Money Sports SHARE THIS Print Email More sharing Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 By CNN Staff updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013 A look back at those we have lost in 2013. Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams died of natural causes on October 21. He was 90. Adams, whose team started in Houston as the Houston Oilers, co-founded the American Football League, which eventually merged with the National Football League. Lou Scheimer, a pioneer in Saturday morning television cartoons with hit shows such as "Superman," "Fat Albert" and "He-Man," died October 17 at 84, according to his biographer. Andy Mangels helped tell Scheimer's story in the book "Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation." "Bum" Phillips, the former NFL football coach who led the Houston Oilers to glory and struggled with the New Orleans Saints, died October 18 at age 90. Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, died on October 18 at age 82, his office's chief of staff said. Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley, 84, died at his home in Washington, his wife, Heather, confirmed on October 18. An earlier version of this gallery contained a photo incorrectly identified as Tom Foley. CNN regrets this error. Character actor Ed Lauter, who had small roles in movies and TV shows over four decades, died October 16 of mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, his publicist said. He was 74. Jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne, whose career included dozens of albums, died October 15 of a heart attack, her son said. She was 83. Maxine Powell, who helped nurture the style of Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross in the 1960s, died on October 14. The personal development coach for the legendary record label was 98. "MasterChef" runner-up Joshua Marks died October 11 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. He was 26. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos died on October 12, his agent said. Hijuelos was the first Latino to win the prestigious award for fiction for his 1989 novel, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love." He was 62. Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth, died on October 10, NASA said. He was 88. Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap of the Vietnam People's Army, a man credited with major victories against the French and the American military, died on October 4. He was 102. Photojournalist Bill Eppridge, who photographed Sen. Robert F. Kennedy moments after he was fatally shot in Los Angeles in 1968, died on October 3. American author Tom Clancy died October 2, according to a family member. He was 66. Hiroshi Yamauchi, who built Nintendo from a small card company into a global video-game empire before buying the Seattle Mariners, died September 19 in Japan. He was 85. Forty years after rising to the top of the boxing world and outdueling Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, left, died at a Nevada medical facility after a stroke on September 18. He was 70. British rocker Jackie Lomax, who recorded with legendary stars but whose own career always seemed a degree removed from fame, died on September 15 at the age of 69. The singer-songwriter-guitarist enjoyed a 50-year career playing with many of music's biggest stars -- notably the Beatles -- but personal commercial success eluded him. Ray Dolby, the American inventor who changed the way people listen to sound in their homes, on their phones and in cinemas, died September 12 in San Francisco. He was 80. The founder of Dolby Laboratories had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a number of years and in July was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Ex-heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison died September 1, according to his former promoter Tony Holden. He was 44. Morrison defeated George Foreman in 1993 for the World Boxing Organization's heavyweight title. He also won fame for his role in "Rocky V." British broadcaster David Frost, best known for his series of interviews with former U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1977, died August 31. He was 74. Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, died on Friday, August 30, at a hospital in Dublin. He was 74. British cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, right, died in his home on the Isle of Wright on Friday, August 23. The man behind the visual style of movies such as "Star Wars" and "Dr. Strangelove" was 99. Here, Taylor and director Peter Brooks, left, film "Meetings With Remarkable Men" in 1979. CBS News correspondent Bruce Dunning died Monday, August 26, from injuries suffered from a fall. Dunning was 73. Muriel "Mickie" Siebert, the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, died on Sunday, August 25, the Siebert Financial Corp. said. She was 80. Sid Bernstein, the promoter and agent who helped start the "British invasion" by bringing the Beatles to Carnegie Hall, died Wednesday, August 21, according to his publicist. He was 95. Marian McPartland, the famed jazz pianist and longtime host of NPR's "Piano Jazz" program, died Tuesday, August 20, of natural causes, according to her label. She was 95. Crime novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard, who was recovering from a stroke, died August 20, his literary agent said. He was 87. Actor Lee Thompson Young, best known for his roles on Disney's "The Famous Jett Jackson" and TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles," died August 19 at the age of 29. Actress Lisa Robin Kelly, one of the stars of TV's "That '70s Show," died August 14, according to her agent, Craig Wyckoff. Kelly was 43. British stuntman Mark Sutton died on Wednesday, August 14, after a parachuting accident in Switzerland. Sutton, 42, was well known for parachuting in as James Bond at the 2012 London Olympics. Gia Allemand appeared on season 14 of ABC's "The Bachelor." In a statement, her family said the 29-year-old's death apparently was suicide. Journalist Jack Germond died August 14, his wife, Alice, wrote in a note to friends. He was 85. Germond covered national politics for more than 50 years, including as a political analyst for CNN. Singer Eydie Gorme, best known for her 1963 song "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," died August 10 in Las Vegas after a brief illness, her publicist said. She was 84. Actress Karen Black, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the 1970 film "Five Easy Pieces," died on Thursday, August 8, her agent said, after a long and public battle with cancer. She was 74. Sean Sasser, whose commitment ceremony on MTV's "Real World" in 1994 was a first for U.S. television, died Wednesday, August 7, his longtime partner told CNN. Sasser was 44. Jackie Gingrich, first wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and mother of his two daughters, died Wednesday, August 7, in Atlanta, according to the funeral home organizing her arrangements. She was 77. Margaret Pellegrini, who played the flowerpot Munchkin and one of the sleepyhead kids in the classic film "The Wizard of Oz," died at her home in Phoenix on Wednesday, August 7 after suffering a stroke, according to Ted Bulthaup, spokesman for the Munchkins. She was 89. Pellegrini was one of the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film. George Duke, seen here at the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May, died in August at the age of 67. The legend was known for his phenomenal skills as a keyboardist, and his ability to bridge together jazz, rock, funk and R&B. Baltimore Colts defensive tackle Art Donovan, a charismatic player who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968, died Sunday, August 4. He was 88. John Palmer, a veteran reporter for NBC News, died Saturday, August 3, after a short illness, according to the network. He was 77. Michael Ansara, the character actor best known for playing three iterations of Klingon leader Kang in different "Star Trek" series, died Wednesday, July 31. He was 91. Ossie Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the league's first basket, died Tuesday, July 30. He was 94. NBA Commissioner David Stern called Schectman a pioneer, "Playing for the New York Knickerbockers in the 1946-47 season, Ossie scored the league's first basket, which placed him permanently in the annals of NBA history. On behalf of the entire NBA family, our condolences go out to Ossie's family." Actress Eileen Brennan, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as the exasperated drill captain in the movie "Private Benjamin," died Sunday, July 28, at her Burbank, California, home after a battle with bladder cancer. She was 80. Former Major League Baseball pitcher Frank Castillo drowned while swimming in a lake near Phoenix, authorities said July 29. He was 44. Ecuador striker Christian Benitez, the top scorer in the Mexican league last season, died of a heart attack Monday, July 29, at age 27. Syndicated radio host Kidd Kraddick died Saturday, July 27, at a golf tournament in New Orleans to raise money for his Kidd's Kids Charity. He was 53. Musician JJ Cale died Friday, July 26, after suffering a heart attack. He was 74. Above, Cale performs at the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam in 1973. Virginia Johnson, the pioneering sex researcher who was part of a groundbreaking team with William Masters, died at age 88 on July 24, her family said. Masters died in 2001. Former world-class boxer Emile Griffith, who won five titles during the 1960s, died July 23, the International Boxing Hall of Fame announced. He was 75. Actor Dennis Farina, a Chicago ex-cop whose tough-as-nails persona enlivened roles on either side of the law, died Monday, July 22. He was 69. Above, Farina shoots a scene as Detective Joe Fontana in "Law & Order" in 2004. Pioneer journalist and former senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas died Saturday, July 20, after a long illness, sources told CNN. She was 92. Jazz guitarist Carline Ray died at Isabella House in New York City, on July 18. She was 88. Cory Monteith, who played heart throb Finn Hudson in the Fox hit "Glee," was found dead in a Vancouver, Canada, hotel room Saturday, July 13, police said. He was 31. Douglas Englebart, the inventor of the computer mouse, died Tuesday, July 2, at his home in Atherton, California, according to SRI International, the research institute where he once worked. He was 88. Jim Kelly, a martial artist best known for his appearance in the 1973 Bruce Lee movie "Enter the Dragon," died on June 29 of cancer. He was 67. After a brief acting career, he became a ranked professional tennis player on the USTA senior men's circuit. Here he appears in the 1974 film "Three the Hard Way." Bert Stern, a revolutionary advertising photographer in the 1960s who also made his mark with images of celebrities, died on June 25 at age 83. Possibly most memorably, he captured Marilyn Monroe six weeks before she died for a series later known as "The Last Sitting." Alan Myers, Devo's most well-known drummer, lost his battle with cancer on June 24. Band member Mark Mothersbaugh said in a statement that Myers' style on the drums helped define the band's early sound. Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland, who helped create the modern soul-blues sound, died June 23 at age 83. Bland was part of a blues group that included B.B. King. His song "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" was sampled on a Jay-Z album. Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Marc Rich, the commodities trader and Glencore founder whom President Bill Clinton pardoned on his final day in office, died June 26 at age 78 in Switzerland. Rich often was credited with the creation of modern oil trading. He lived abroad after being indicted in 1983 for tax evasion, false statements, racketeering and illegal trading with Iran, becoming one of the world's most famous white-collar criminals. Richard Matheson, an American science-fiction writer best known for his novel "I Am Legend," died June 23 at age 87. During a career that spanned more than 60 years, Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, plus screenplays for TV and film. James Gandolfini died at the age of 51, after an apparent heart attack. Gandolfini became a fan favorite for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's "The Sopranos." Country music singer/songwriter Slim Whitman died on June 19, his son-in-law Roy Beagle told CNN. He was 90. Above, Whitman poses with his guitar at a press conference at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, on February 22, 1956. Esther Williams, whose success as a competitive swimmer propelled her to Hollywood stardom during the 1940s and 1950s, died on Thursday, June 6 in California, according to her spokesman. David "Deacon" Jones, who is credited with coining the term "sacking the quarterback" during his stint as one of the greatest defensive ends in the NFL, has died. Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey died June 3 of viral pneumonia, his office said. Lautenberg, 89, had been the Senate's last surviving veteran of World War II. Actress Jean Stapleton, best known for her role as Archie Bunker's wife, Edith, in the groundbreaking 1970s TV sitcom "All in the Family," died at age 90 on Saturday, June 1. Ed Shaughnessy, the longtime drummer for "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," has died, a close friend said Sunday. He was 84. Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away of cancer on Monday, May 20. He was 74. NASCAR legend Dick Trickle died on May 16 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71. Popular American psychologist and television personality Dr. Joyce Brothers died at 85, her daughter said on May 13. Brothers gained fame as a frequent guest on television talk shows and as an advice columnist for Good Housekeeping magazine and newspapers throughout the United States. Jeanne Cooper, who played Katherine Chancellor, the "Dame of Genoa City," on "The Young and the Restless," died on May 8. She was 84. Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animation and special-effects master whose work influenced such directors as Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and George Lucas, died on May 7 at age 92, according to the Facebook page of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation. Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, died on May 2 of liver failure. He was 49. Chris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died on May 1 at an Atlanta hospital after being found unresponsive at his home, the Fulton County medical examiner's office told CNN. Kelly, right, and Chris Smith shot to stardom in 1992 with the hit "Jump." George Jones, the country music legend whose graceful, evocative voice gave depth to some of the greatest songs in country music -- including "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Grand Tour" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today" -- died on April 26 at age 81, according to his public relations firm. Actor Allan Arbus poses for a portrait with his daughter photographer Amy Arbus in 2007. Allan Arbus, who played psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman in the M*A*S*H television series, died at age 95, his daughter's representative said April 23. Folk singer Richie Havens, the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died on April 22 of a heart attack, his publicist said. He was 72. Australian rocker Chrissy Amphlett, the Divinyls lead singer whose group scored an international hit with the sexually charged "I Touch Myself" in the early 1990s, died on April 21 from breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, her husband said. She was 53. 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Pictured, Funicello performs with Jimmie Dodd on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in1957. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in postwar British and world politics and the only woman to become British prime minister, died at the age of 87 on Monday, April 8. Designer Lilly Pulitzer, right, died on April 7 at age 81, according to her company's Facebook page. The Palm Beach socialite was known for making sleeveless dresses from bright floral prints that became known as the "Lilly" design. Film critic Roger Ebert died on April 4, according to his employer, the Chicago Sun-Times. He was 70. Ebert had taken a leave of absence on April 2 after a hip fracture was revealed to be cancer. Jane Nebel Henson, wife of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson and instrumental in the development of the world-famous puppets, died April 2 after a long battle with cancer. She was 78. Shain Gandee, one of the stars of the MTV reality show "Buckwild," was found dead with two other people in Kanawha County, West Virginia, on April 1. He was 21. Music producer and innovator Phil Ramone, right, with Paul Shaffer, left, and Billy Joel at the Song Writers Hall of Fame Awards in New York in 2001. Ramone died March 30 at the age of 72. Writer/producer Don Payne, one of the creative minds behind "The Simpsons," died March 26 at his home in Los Angeles after losing a battle with bone cancer, reports say. He was 48. Gordon Stoker, left, who as part of the vocal group the Jordanaires sang backup on hits by Elvis Presley, died March 27 at 88. Deke Richards, center, died March 24 at age 68. Richards was a producer and songwriter who was part of the team responsible for Motown hits such as "I Want You Back" and "Maybe Tomorrow." He had been battling esophageal cancer. Legendary publisher, promoter and weightlifter Joe Weider, who created the Mr. Olympia contest and brought California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the United States, died at age 93 on March 23. Playboy magazine's 1962 "Playmate of the Year," Christa Speck Krofft, died March 22 of natural causes at the age of 70. Rena Golden, who held top positions at CNN, died at age 51 after battling lymphoma for two years on March 21. Harry Reems, the porn star best known for playing Dr. Young in the 1972 adult film classic "Deep Throat," died March 19, according to a spokeswoman at a Salt Lake City hospital. Reems, whose real name is Herbert Streicher, was 65. Bobbie Smith, who as a member of the Spinners sang lead on such hits as "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," died on March 16 at age 76. Pictured clockwise from left, Spinners band member Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson, Jonathan Edwards, Bobbie Smith and Henry Fambrough, 1977. Sweden's Princess Lilian, the Welsh-born model who lived with her lover Prince Bertil for 30 years before they were married, has died at the age of 97, the Swedish Royal Court said in a statement. Alvin Lee, the speed-fingered British guitarist who lit up Woodstock with a monumental 11-minute version of his song "I'm Going Home," died on March 6, according to his website. He was 68. Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a "21st century socialist" and foe of the United States, died March 5, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Bobby Rogers, one of the original members of Motown staple The Miracles, died on Sunday, March 3, at 73. From left: Bobby Rogers, Ronald White, Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore circa 1965. Actress Bonnie Franklin, star of the TV show "One Day at a Time," died at the age of 69 on March 1 of complications from pancreatic cancer. 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Lou Myers, a stage, film and TV actor who memorably portrayed Mr. Gaines on the comedy "A Different World," died on February 19 at the age of 75. Los Angeles Laker owner Jerry Buss died February 18 at age 80. Buss, who had owned the Lakers since 1979, was credited with procuring the likes of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers won 10 NBA championships and 16 Western Conference titles under Buss' ownership. Country singer Mindy McCready was found dead on February 17 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. She was 37. During her career, McCready landed 14 songs and six albums on the Billboard country charts. Ed Koch, the brash former New York mayor, died February 1 of congestive heart failure at 88, his spokesman said. Patty Andrews, center, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters, died at her Northridge, California, home on January 30, her publicist Alan Eichler said. She was 94. Patty is seen in this 1948 photograph with her sisters Maxene, left, and Laverne. Baseball Hall of Famer and St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial died on January 19, according to his former team. He was 92. Baseball Hall of Fame manager Earl Sidney Weaver, who led the Baltimore Orioles to four pennants and a World Series title with a pugnacity toward umpires, died January 19 of an apparent heart attack at age 82, Major League Baseball said. Pauline Phillips, better known to millions of newspaper readers as the original Dear Abby advice columnist, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. She died January 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at age 94. Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who co-wrote the initial specification for RSS, committed suicide, a relative told CNN on January 12. He was 26. Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship. Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, died aged 76 following a skiing accident. Richard Ben Cramer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose 1992 book "What It Takes" remains one of the most detailed and passionate of all presidential campaign chronicles, died January 7, according to his longtime agent. He was 62. Director and stuntman David R. Ellis died on January 7. He directed "Snakes on a Plane." Tony Lip, who played mob figures in the hit cable show "The Sopranos" and several critically acclaimed movies, died January 4, a funeral home official said. Lip, whose real name was Frank Vallelonga, was 82. Character actor Ned Wertimer, known to fans of "The Jeffersons" as the doorman Ralph Hart, died on January 2. He was 89. Pop-country singer Patti Page died on January 1 in Encinitas, California. She was 85. Born Clara Ann Fowler, Page was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s and had 19 gold and 14 platinum singles. HIDE CAPTION People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 People we lost in 2013 << < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 > >> STORY HIGHLIGHTS Adams co-founded American Football League in 1959 He founded the Houston Oilers, which began play in the AFL in 1960 In 1997, Adams moved the team to Tennessee, where it became the Titans

(CNN) -- K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr., the founder and owner of the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers football franchise and a co-founder of the American Football League, died Monday morning at his home in Houston, the team said.

He was 90.

Adams owned the team for more than 53 years, starting in Houston, where his Oilers began play in 1960 as a charter member of the NFL's new competitor, the AFL.

Adams, an oil company founder, teamed with other businessmen, including eventual Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, to form the eight-team AFL in 1959. The Oilers won two AFL championships before the league merged with the NFL in 1970.

The Oilers franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997, eventually settling in Nashville as the Tennessee Titans.

His franchise reached the Super Bowl once during his stewardship: in January 2000, when the Titans lost 23-16 to the St. Louis Rams.

People we lost in 2013

Adams' death came three days after "Bum" Phillips, the man Adams employed as Oilers coach and general manager from 1975 to 1980, died at age 90.

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who was the Oilers' and Titans' coach from 1994 to 2010, said Monday that he was "extremely saddened" to hear of Adams' death.

"My respect for Mr. Adams goes well beyond the owner/coach relationship that we shared for many years. He was a pioneer in the football business. He played a key role in creating and sustaining the American Football League, which helped push the popularity of our game to where it is today," Fisher said in a statement released by the Rams.

CNN's Jillian Martin and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

0 Comments » SHARE THIS Print Email More sharing Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious Part of complete coverage on People we lost in 2013 Photos: People we lost in 2013 updated 1:53 PM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013 Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year. Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013 K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr., the founder and owner of the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers football franchise and a co-founder of the American Football League, died at age 90. Cartoon producer Lou Scheimer updated 1:06 AM EDT, Sun October 20, 2013 Lou Scheimer, a pioneer in Saturday morning television cartoons with hit shows such as "Superman," "Fat Albert" and "He-Man," has died at 84, according to his biographer. Football coach Bum Phillips updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat October 19, 2013 "Bum" Phillips, the former NFL football coach who led the Houston Oilers to glory and struggled with the New Orleans Saints, died at age 90. Rep. Bill Young updated 11:54 AM EDT, Sat October 19, 2013 Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, died at 82, his chief of staff said. Former House Speaker Tom Foley updated 9:35 PM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013 Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley died at his home in Washington, D.C., his wife Heather confirmed. Actor Ed Lauter updated 11:21 PM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013 A face you know is gone. Character actor Ed Lauter has died at age 74. Jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne updated 4:54 PM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013 Jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne, whose career included dozens of albums and whose signature song was "I Wish You Love," has died, her son said. Maxine Powell, mentor to Motown stars updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue October 15, 2013 Maxine Powell, the mentor behind the smooth success and individual charm of Motown Records' stars for almost five decades, died at age 98. Author Oscar Hijuelos updated 7:33 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos has died, his agent said Sunday. He was 62. Mercury 7 astronaut Scott Carpenter updated 10:32 AM EDT, Sun October 13, 2013 Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth, NASA said. He was 88. 'MasterChef' runner-up Josh Marks updated 5:37 PM EDT, Mon October 14, 2013 "MasterChef" runner-up Joshua Marks was in "the battle of his life fighting mental illness" when he killed himself, his family said. Ovadia Yosef, influential Israeli spiritual leader updated 1:32 PM EDT, Mon October 7, 2013 Hundreds of Israelis on Monday bid an emotional farewell to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 93, the former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel. Author Tom Clancy updated 10:01 AM EDT, Thu October 3, 2013 Author Tom Clancy, whose novel, "The Hunt for Red October" propelled him to fame, fortune and status as a favorite storyteller of the American military, has died ate age 66. Civil rights activist Evelyn Lowery updated 4:05 PM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013 Civil rights activist Evelyn Gibson Lowery, who with her husband, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, participated in the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march in Alabama, has died. Nintendo's Hiroshi Yamauchi updated 4:56 PM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013 Hiroshi Yamauchi, who built Nintendo from a small playing-card company into a global video-gaming empire before buying the Seattle Mariners, died in Japan at 85. Famed boxer Ken Norton updated 9:09 AM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013 Forty years after rising to the top of the boxing world and outdueling Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton lost his final fight following a stroke. Beatles' protégé Jackie Lomax updated 5:39 PM EDT, Wed September 18, 2013 British rocker Jackie Lomax, who recorded with legendary stars but whose own career always seemed a degree removed from fame, died at the age of 69. Sound pioneer Ray Dolby dies at 80 updated 1:22 AM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013 Ray Dolby, the American inventor who changed the way people listen to sound in their homes, on their phones and in cinemas, has died. Ex-boxer Tommy Morrison, 'Rocky V' co-star updated 5:07 PM EDT, Mon September 2, 2013 Tommy Morrison, a former heavyweight boxing champion who starred in the "Rocky V" film, died at age 44. David Frost, veteran British broadcaster updated 8:46 AM EDT, Sun September 1, 2013 Veteran British broadcaster David Frost, best known for his series of interviews with disgraced U.S. President Richard Nixon, has died. He was 74. Poet Seamus Heaney updated 5:41 PM EDT, Fri August 30, 2013 Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney died Friday, his publisher said. 'Star Wars' cinematographer Gilbert Taylor updated 11:32 AM EDT, Tue August 27, 2013 Gilbert Taylor, who gave the "Star Wars" films their sharp look as the cinematographer of 1977's "Star Wars," has died at 99. 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Ultimate Texans » Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90   Home McClain Robertson Smith Voices Stats Fan gear Tickets Sports Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 Posted on October 21, 2013 at 11:12 am by David Barron in General Share this:EmailCommentsComments(1)Comments()Print0 Bud Adams through the years Share this gallery:  1 of 50 

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K.S. “Bud” Adams, the second-generation oil tycoon who brought professional football to Houston in 1960 and, three decades later, spirited it away to Tennessee, has died at his Houston home. He was 90.

The passing was first reported by Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News. A source said early indications are Adams’ death was of natural causes, but the source stressed the “early indications” aspect.

Adams lived alone and was found in the office at his River Oaks home. He had not been seen since Saturday, Houston police at the home said.

HPD crime scene investigators came out to the Adams home to take photos, which police said is normal when a person dies in a home alone.

Adams will be remembered as one of the city’s earliest sports magnates as owner of the Oilers and a member of the so-called “Foolish Club” that, along with Dallas millionaire Lamar Hunt, created the upstart American Football League, and as one of the early investors in the Houston Sports Association group that brought the Colt .45s to Houston in 1962. His Oilers won the first two AFL titles in 1960 and 1961 and lost to Hunt’s Dallas Texans for the 1962 title.

But he also became in the minds of many a controversial, divisive figure who battled with city officials and fellow owners from the 1960s through the 1990s and, eventually, took his team and left town.

He was preceded in death by less than 72 hours by the man with whom he will be linked forever in Houston sports annals, former Oilers coach Bum Phillips. Adams fired Phillips as Oilers coach in December 1980, ending the Oilers’ “Luv Ya Blue” and earning, among some Houston sports fans, everlasting enmity.

That enmity among some was enforced in the 1980s when he threatened to move the Oilers to Jacksonville, Fla., unless Harris County officials increased seating in the Astrodome, which they did by ripping out the stadium’s signature scoreboard.

In the 1990s, still chaffing at his tenant’s status at the Astrodome, he campaigned for a city-funded stadium but was opposed by Mayor Bob Lanier. With that, he turned to Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen, who crafted a city-supported stadium plan that led to the Oilers’ departure from Houston after the 1996 season. The Oilers became the Tennessee Titans and advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, accomplishing in their third season in Tennessee what they could never accomplish in Houston.

Lanier  said today in the wake of Adams’ death that time had mellowed their longtime disagreements.

“I remember his bringing the AFL to Houston, the signing of Billy Cannon (in 1960) to give the team a star, when he hired Bum Phillips, when he hired Earl Campbell and when he fired Bum and traded Earl,” Lanier said in a statement.  “After the team left town and a few years had passed,  he wrote me a nice letter when I left office. I feel like we are two old fighters that fought in the ring but in their waning years developed a friendly relationship.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: “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 humor 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.”

A native of Bartlesville, Okla., Adams’ interest in sports was first displayed while at Culver Military Academy, where he earned letters in football, basketball and baseball. Upon graduation from Culver in 1940, Adams attended Menlo College (Calif.), lettering in both rugby and football. Adams then transferred to the engineering school at the University of Kansas where he also lettered in football for the Jayhawks. During his days at KU, Adams met his future wife Nancy Neville and began his loyal affiliation with Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Adams parlayed a 1946 chance stop in Houston, resulting from fog that grounded his plane, into a highly successful and diversified business empire which ranks him among the most prominent businessmen in the country.

In 1946, Adams started ADA Oil Company, which was a forerunner of the publicly-held American Stock Exchange-listed Adams Resources & Energy, Inc. (AE), an energy company engaged in the business of marketing crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products; tank truck transportation of liquid chemicals; and oil and gas exploration and production. Adams’ other business interests included extensive farming and ranching in California and Texas, cattle feeding, real estate, automobile dealerships and leasing. He was a longtime collector of Western art and Native American artifacts.

During his early business career, Adams, a year-round sports fan, was an avid sponsor of amateur and AAU teams in basketball and softball. His ADA Oilers were a perennial power in the National Industrial Basketball League in the ’50s, capturing third place in the national AAU tournament in 1956. His interest in sports was further evidenced by past ownership participation in professional baseball, basketball and boxing.

Football history was made in Adams’ office in Houston on Aug. 3, 1959, where he and Lamar Hunt held a press conference to announce the formation of the new American Football League, which would begin playing in 1960. Hunt would have a team in Dallas, Adams would have a team in Houston, and other teams would be forthcoming.

Craig Hlavaty contributed to this report.

0 1 Share this:EmailCommentsComments(1)Comments()Print0 Tags:AFL, Bud Adams, nfl, Oilers, Titans « Previous Post Next Post » David Barron David Barron writes about sports media, Olympic sports and other topics for the Houston Chronicle. He also has been an editor and writer for Dave Campbell's Texas Football since 1980 and is a member of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. Follow: Latest Posts: Friends recall Adams’ devotion to football 10/21/13 Chat wrap: With Texans writer John McClain 10/22/13 Free-agent options for Texans’ third running back spot 10/22/13 NFL cheerleaders in Week 7 10/22/13 Texans report: Dobbins’ release adds to LB shortage 10/22/13 Titans owner Bud Adams dies at 90 Blogs K.S. “Bud” Adams, the second-generation oil tycoon who brought professional football to Houston in 1960 and, three decades later, spirited it away to Tennessee, has died at his Houston home. He was 90. The passing was first reported by Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News. A source said early indications are Adams’ death was [...]

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By TERESA M. WALKER 10/21/13 07:21 PM ET EDT

reddit stumble FILE - This is an Aug. 15, 2009, file photo showing Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams before the start of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Nashville, Tenn. The NFL is looking into reports Tennessee owner Bud Adams made an obscene hand gesture from his luxury suite and from the field while celebrating his Titans' 41-17 win over Buffalo, Sunday Nov. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, fILE) | AP

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1 Join the Nation's ConversationWith Bud Adams' death, what lies ahead for Titans? David Climer, USA TODAY Sports 9:10 a.m. EDT October 22, 2013

The Titans moved to Tennessee in 1997 and have played in Nashville since 1998.(Photo: George Walker IV, The Tennessean)

Story HighlightsTitans' lease with Nashville runs through 2028Adams' grandson could assume major role going forwardSHARE 27 CONNECT 41 TWEET 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE

NASHVILLE — The Nashville of 2013 wouldn't be what it is without Kenneth S. Adams Jr.

It was his decision to move his NFL franchise to this market. Whether you are a Titans fan or not, you must acknowledge the impact of his decision.

I'll leave it to others to debate Bud Adams' legacy. It's time to focus on what lies ahead for the Tennessee Titans franchise after his death.

So what now? Adams' dying gift to Nashville is a team that will remain in the city for the foreseeable future. From all accounts, Adams established a plan to pass ownership of the Titans to members of his family while contractual commitments keep the team at LP Field through the duration of the original lease, which runs through the 2028 season.

OBITUARY: Adams passes at 90

THE Q: Reaction around the NFL

Adams had the foresight — and wealth — to establish a succession plan that keeps the Titans in his family. Adams took that action after seeing other franchises sold due to the burden of estate taxes.

With that in mind, he set aside funds that would cover estate taxes on the franchise, which was valued at approximately $1.01 billion by Forbes magazine last year. Adams originally paid $25,000 for the franchise's rights when he and former Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt founded the American Football League in 1959.

While details are sketchy because Adams preferred to keep personal business matters private, it is believed that the families of his three children — daughters Susie Smith and Amy Strunk and his late son Kenneth Adams III — will share ownership of the franchise equally.

Adams' grandson looms as key figure

Moving forward, the central figure in all this is Adams' grandson and namesake, Kenneth S. Adams IV. He has been working for the Titans since graduating from the University of the South in 2006. At one point, Kenneth Adams worked as an administrative assistant to Steve Underwood, who served as Nashville-based senior executive vice president and general counsel in 2006-10.

Kenneth Adams is the only member of the Adams family that has had a hands-on working relationship with the Titans. Tommy Smith, Bud Adams' son-in-law, was offered an opportunity to move to Nashville and help run the franchise when the then-Oilers landed on Tennessee turf in 1997 but declined.

Kenneth Adams has handled various assignments with the Titans over the last seven-plus years. More recently, he has worked in the front office. On some Sundays, he was visible on the sideline at LP Field prior to games, often visiting with his grandfather. Most believe he has been groomed to run the team.

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So we know about the status of the Titans in the near term. But what about further down the line? That's where the picture isn't quite so clear.

Passing a family business to a younger generation can create rifts if all the heirs are not committed to the same goal or if other business interests force compromise. An example: When Art Rooney left the Pittsburgh Steelers to his sons. Dan Rooney's brothers had to sell because of their involvement in gambling operations at horse racing tracks. NFL rules do not permit those involved in gaming operations to own teams. Dan Rooney bought out the shares of his brothers and enlisted outside investors to the new ownership group.

ADAMS: Owner played by his own rules

In time, something similar might happen with the Titans. But even if part or all of the franchise eventually moves outside the Adams family, that doesn't mean the team would relocate. Much would depend on the renegotiation of the current lease or the signing of a new agreement between the Titans and Nashville.

As for Bud Adams' wishes, he made it clear that he wanted the team to remain in Nashville because of the commitment he and the city's leadership made in 1996.

Yes, Adams reaped great financial reward by moving his team from Houston. But it was the ultimate win-win. While Adams got the new stadium and the fresh start he wanted, Nashville gained membership into the elite fraternity of 31 cities that house NFL teams. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Bud Adams may have lived and died in Houston, but Nashville held a special place in his heart.

Rest in peace, Bud.


Climer also writes for The (Nashville) Tennessean

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Bud Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Bud Adams From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2010) This article is about a person who has recently died. Some information, such as the circumstances of the person's death and surrounding events, may change as more facts become known. Bud Adams Date of birth: (1923-01-03)January 3, 1923 Place of birth: Bartlesville, Oklahoma Date of death: October 21, 2013(2013-10-21) (aged 90) Place of death: Houston, Texas Career information Position(s): Founder/Owner College: University of Kansas Organizations As Owner: 1960–1996
1967–1969 Houston Oilers
Tennessee Oilers
Tennessee Titans
Nashville Kats
Houston Mavericks Career highlights and awards 2x AFL Champion (1960, 1961) AFC Champion (1999) AFL Co-founder Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans Founder Nashville Kats Founder Houston Mavericks Founder Military service Allegiance: United States Service/branch: U.S. Navy Rank: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Battles/wars: World War II: Pacific Theater

Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr. (January 3, 1923 – October 21, 2013) was the owner of the Tennessee Titans, a National Football League franchise. He was instrumental in the founding and establishment of the former American Football League. Adams became a charter AFL owner with the establishment of the Titans franchise, which was originally known as the Houston Oilers. He was the senior owner (by time) with his team in the National Football League, a few months ahead of Buffalo Bills' owner Ralph Wilson. Adams also was one of the owners of the Houston Mavericks of the American Basketball Association and the former owner of the second Nashville Kats franchise of the Arena Football League. He was elected to the Hall of Fame of the American Football League, an online site, but as of 2013 is not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, despite several nominations and an ongoing effort to make him such.

Adams had many business interests in the Houston area. An enrolled Cherokee who originally made his fortune in the petroleum business, Adams was chairman and CEO of Adams Resources & Energy Inc., a wholesale supplier of oil and natural gas. He also owned several Lincoln-Mercury automobile franchises.

Contents 1 Early life 2 Sports career in Houston 2.1 Early career in the American Football League 2.2 Houston Mavericks 2.3 The Houston Oilers and the Astrodome 2.3.1 Houston vs. Adams 3 Sports career in Tennessee 3.1 The Tennessee Oilers 3.2 The Tennessee Titans 3.3 The Nashville Kats (Arena Football) 4 Personal life 4.1 Death 5 See also 6 References 7 External links Early life[edit]

Adams was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on January 3, 1923 the son of K. S. "Boots" Adams and Blanch Keeler Adams and became an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation by virtue of his maternal line. Two of his great-grandmothers were Cherokee women who married European-American men: Nelson Carr and George B. Keeler, who played roles in trade and oil in early Oklahoma. Keeler drilled the first commercial oil well, near the Caney River.[1] Adams' father succeeded the founder Frank Phillips as president of Phillips Petroleum Company in 1939.[2] Adams' uncle William Wayne Keeler, CEO of Phillips Petroleum Company for years, was appointed chief of the Cherokee Nation by President Harry S. Truman in 1949 and served through 1971, when the Cherokee were able to hold their own elections. Keeler was democratically elected and served until 1975.[3] Adams' ancestors include other prominent Cherokee leaders.[1]

Adams graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1940 after lettering in three sports. After a brief stint at Menlo College, he transferred to the University of Kansas (KU), where he played briefly on the varsity football team as he completed an engineering degree.

During World War II, Adams served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater of operations, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. After the war, he returned to KU for additional studies and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Shortly after his 1946 discharge, Adams was on a trip in which his plane was fogbound in Houston, Texas. He liked the area and decided to settle there.

Soon afterward, Adams launched a wildcatting firm, ADA Oil Company, that eventually grew into Adams Resources & Energy. The company's basketball team was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) powerhouse, finishing third nationally in 1956.

Sports career in Houston[edit] Early career in the American Football League[edit]

Adams soon became interested in owning an NFL team. In 1959, Adams tried to buy the struggling Chicago Cardinals and move them to Houston. When that effort failed, he tried to get an expansion team, only to be turned down. A few days after returning to Houston, Adams got a call from fellow Texas oilman Lamar Hunt proposing an entirely new football league. They met several times that spring, and Hunt convinced Adams to field a team in Houston. In Hunt's view, a regional rivalry between Hunt's Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs) and a Houston team would be critical to the league's growth. On August 3, Adams and Hunt held a press conference in Adams' boardroom to announce formation of the new league, which was formally named the American Football League.

Although less popularly associated with the formation of the AFL than Hunt, Adams was likely nearly as crucial to the league's success. He and Hunt were both more financially stable than some of the other early owners.

Adams helped establish the league by fighting and winning the battle with the NFL for LSU's All-American Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon. Particularly crucial to the league's early years was Adams' relationship with Harry Wismer, original owner of the league's New York franchise, the Titans. For their first three years, the Titans played in the deteriorating old Polo Grounds. The team was mostly derided or ignored by the New York City media. Adams' help was essential in keeping Wismer's team in business until it could be sold to more financially capable ownership and moved into Shea Stadium as the Jets.

Adams' team was the best of the new teams during the early period of the AFL. It won the first two championship games behind the quarterbacking and kicking of former Bears reject George Blanda. His team played in a total of four AFL Championship games. Adams is a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame.

Houston Mavericks[edit]

Along with wealthy Houston businessman T. C. Morrow, Adams owned the Houston Mavericks, a franchise in the American Basketball Association, from 1967 through 1969. The team was not successful in Houston, and its attendance was among the lowest in the league. After the 1968–1969 season, under new ownership, the Mavericks moved to Charlotte and became the Carolina Cougars.

The Houston Oilers and the Astrodome[edit]

Adams and the other AFL owners received a tremendous boost in credibility and net worth in 1966 with the merger of the AFL with and into the NFL. It was effective with the 1970 season. In 1968 Adams moved his team into the Astrodome, which since 1965 had been the home of the Houston Astros of baseball's National League.

While the Astrodome ameliorated the hot, humid climate, it had several drawbacks as a venue for the Oilers. Despite being almost completely round, the Astrodome's football sight lines left much to be desired. The seats near the 50-yard line, usually the most desirable (and expensive), were the farthest from the field of play, while those nearest the action were otherwise-undesirable seats in the end zone. Additionally, the Astrodome seated only about 50,000 for football. By the early 1980s, it was the smallest venue in the NFL. Adams chafed at being the Astrodome's "secondary" tenant. He knew his position was unlikely to change as long as the Astros were playing 81 home games and his team was playing eight.

Houston vs. Adams[edit]

Adams was initially a hero in Houston for making the city a major-league town, but his popularity tailed off during the Oilers' early NFL years. Some critics believed he had mishandled the team. His tendency to micromanage the Oilers brought considerable scrutiny since he had no background in the sport. For instance, all expenditures over $200 required his personal approval.

In the late 1970s the Oilers rose again to football prominence. Despite being in the same division as the Pittsburgh Steelers, they were very popular nationwide. Their coach, Adams' fellow Texan O. A. "Bum" Phillips, who dressed, spoke, and acted much like the popular image of a rancher, was well-known and popular. After the Oilers lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champions 3 straight years, two consecutive AFC championship game losses to the Steelers, followed by a Wild Card loss to the Oakland Raiders, Adams fired Phillips. The team fell off and would not be a serious contender again until the late-1980s. Most of the Houston sporting public blamed Adams. This era of rotation between mediocrity and disaster was to last several years.

In 1987, Adams threatened to move the Oilers to Jacksonville, Florida (now the home to the Jaguars) unless significant improvements were made to the Astrodome. Harris County, which owns the Astrodome, responded with a $67 million renovation that added 10,000 more seats, a new Astroturf carpet and 65 luxury boxes. Adams promised that with the new improvements, he would keep the team in Houston for 10 years. These improvements were funded by increases in property taxes and the doubling of the hotel tax, as well as bonds to be paid over 30 years. (As of 2011, Harris County and its taxpayers are still paying off the debt from the Astrodome renovations.) That same year, the Oilers seemed to right themselves on the field. They made the AFC playoffs every year from then until 1993, but each time they fell short of making it to the Super Bowl. After Adams made good on a threat to hold a fire sale if the Oilers did not make the Super Bowl after the 1993 season, the Oilers finished with the worst record in franchise history a year later. They would be barely competitive for the rest of their stay in Houston.

By the mid-1990s, several NFL teams had new stadiums built largely or entirely with public funding, and several more deals had been agreed to. These new venues featured amenities such as "club seating" and other potential revenue streams that were not part of the NFL's default revenue-sharing arrangements. Due to this, Adams began to lobby Mayor Bob Lanier for a new stadium. However, Lanier turned down the request almost out of hand. Lanier knew that Houstonians were not willing to spend money for a brand-new stadium less than a decade after helping pay for heavily renovating the Astrodome.[4]

Adams then began to shop the team to other cities. He had taken particular notice of the offer made by Nashville, Tennessee to the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League to become the primary tenant of a new arena then under construction in downtown Nashville. (It is now called the Bridgestone Arena). While this deal was never consummated (Nashville eventually received an expansion team, the Nashville Predators), Adams wondered what sort of offer he might receive for a venue for his NFL team. After Adams met several times with then-Nashville mayor Phil Bredesen, they announced a deal to bring the Oilers to Nashville for the 1998 season to a new 68,000-seat stadium (originally called Adelphia Coliseum, now known as LP Field). It was to be built largely with city and state funds, across the Cumberland River from downtown Nashville. Nashville opponents of this arrangement forced the issue to a referendum vote; it passed easily, with over 57% of those voting in favor.

When the move was announced shortly after the end of the 1995 season, Adams' opponents in Houston also attempted to block the move. The biggest example of this was when then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, whose district included portions of Houston and its suburbs, introduced a bill in Congress banning the move. However, it did not pass. Other opponents of the move filed their own lawsuits, but all were dismissed. Local support for the Oilers practically vanished. The Oilers played most of their games before crowds of fewer than 20,000, and they looked even smaller due to the spacious configuration of the Astrodome. The crowds were so quiet that some of the few in attendance, watching on television, or listening on radio) could hear all of the action on the field, including play calling, collisions, and the players talking to one another. In addition, the Oilers' radio network in Texas, formerly statewide, was reduced to a single station in Houston and a few affiliates in Tennessee. Adams, the city, the county and the NFL were unwilling to let this continue for another season. As a result, Harris County agreed to let the Oilers out of their lease to enable the move to Tennessee a year earlier than planned.

Sports career in Tennessee[edit] The Tennessee Oilers[edit]

The new Nashville-based stadium's opening was forced back a year, due to the time necessary to get the appropriate enabling measure on the ballot in Nashville. As a result, Adams had difficulty finding a suitable place to play for the renamed Tennessee Oilers ("Tennessee" was used instead of "Nashville" to appeal to the broader region). The largest stadium in the Nashville area at the time, Vanderbilt Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University, seated only 41,000 and was considered inadequate even as a temporary home for anything beyond preseason games. Further, the Oilers were concerned that Vanderbilt refused to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages in the college stadium, which are a source of considerable revenue for NFL teams. The closest NFL-sized stadium to Nashville at the time was the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, three hours east of Nashville. However, Adams rejected it as a temporary home because at 102,000 seats, it would have been nearly impossible to sell out. The league and the Oilers decided to use Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, three-and-a-half hours west of Nashville, until the new stadium in Nashville could be completed. The team would be based in Nashville and commute to Memphis for games—essentially saddling the Oilers with 32 road games for the next two years. Adams himself continued to live in Houston up until his death, only coming to Tennessee for games.

The 1997 season in Memphis proved to be almost as disastrous as the prior years in the Astrodome, largely because the arrangement was very unpopular in both Memphis and Nashville. Whether from disappointment at their city's numerous failures to get professional football in its own right, their longtime rivalry with Nashville, mere lack of interest in professional football in general (the Canadian Football League's Memphis Mad Dogs, who had played in Memphis two years prior, was one of the worst attended teams in that league as well) or general disgust at the prospect of a team that was only there for a temporary stay, Memphians showed no interest in the Oilers. Nashvillians balked at traveling 210 miles to see "their" team, especially since Interstate 40 between the two cities was undergoing a major reconstruction near Memphis. As a result, the Oilers played before some of the smallest NFL crowds since the 1950s. None of the first seven games in Memphis attracted more than 27,000 fans—not even half of the Liberty Bowl's capacity of 62,000.

Despite the problems, Adams initially intended to stick it out. But, only one game, the finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, attracted a larger crowd than could have been accommodated at Vanderbilt. Although 50,677 people showed up, the crowd appeared to be composed of at least half, and as many as three-fourths, Steeler fans.[5] As a result, Adams scrapped plans to play the 1998 season at the Liberty Bowl, and opted to play at Vanderbilt instead.

Only four of the eight regular-season home games at Vanderbilt sold out for the 1998 season. The move to Tennessee was beginning to be seen as a complete failure. To make matters worse, a major tornado had hit downtown Nashville area, tearing directly through the new stadium's construction site and causing two tower cranes to collapse. The completion of the new stadium would seemingly be delayed again, however, the contractors managed to compensate, allowing the team to finally move into their new stadium. Oilers players' participating in the post-tornado cleanup proved to be a public-relations bonanza for Adams and his team, as did Adams' large charitable contribution for relief for the storm's victims. Due to this, there were public suggestions to rename the team the "Tennessee Twisters".

With the team at its new stadium, the following year was one of major changes. During the 1998 season, Adams announced that the team would change its name to one better suited for its new home, the addition of navy blue to the team's color scheme, and that the team would be considered the continuation of the former Oilers franchise, allowing them to retain all their team records. He announced he would open a Hall of Fame at the new stadium to honor the greatest players from both the Houston era and the present Tennessee era. A blue-ribbon committee selected "Titans" to be the team's new name.

The Tennessee Titans[edit]

Upon gaining their new identity, the Titans proceeded to finish the 1999 regular season with a 13–3 record, qualifying as a wild-card team. In their first-round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, they won on a wild, controversial last-minute kickoff return play, dubbed the "Music City Miracle". The kickoff, caught by fullback Lorenzo Neal, was handed off to tight end Frank Wycheck, who made a lateral pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson. Dyson ran the ball 75 yards down the sideline while Buffalo's defense had converged on Wycheck on the other side of the field. Many Bills' fans contended it was an illegal forward pass. The officials ruled it a lateral after reviewing the play at the end of the game, and subsequent video analysis since has also indicated that it was a lateral. Despite this, there is still much debate over the legitimacy of the play to this day.

Following their wild-card victory, the team went on to win two subsequent playoff games and appeared in its first-ever Super Bowl, in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. They lost 23–16 to the St. Louis Rams, having come just one yard short of a touchdown on the game's final play, creating one of the most thrilling conclusions in Super Bowl history.

The unlikely run that Tennessee sustained in their first season as the Titans has proven to be the high-water mark for the Titans' on-field success since. The team won the former AFC Central Division the next year, but fell short of the Super Bowl. They then won the AFC South in the 2002 season with an 11-5 record and made it as far as the Conference Championship, falling to a high powered, hard hitting Oakland Raiders team at the McAfee Coliseum. After the 2003 season the team advanced only to the AFC Divisional Playoffs, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. 2005 was the team's worst season since its arrival in Tennessee, and it finished with an overall record of 4–12. They would not return to the playoffs again until 2007, when they sealed a playoff berth on the last day of the season. 2008 would see the Titans climb to the top of the AFC with a 13-3 record, but they were then knocked out of the playoffs by the Ravens in controversial fashion. During the Ravens' game-winning drive, a 'Delay of Game' was not called after the play clock had hit 0 for several seconds, which enabled the Ravens to go on to kick the game-winning field goal. In the following season, the Titans had a woeful 0-6 start, including a 59-0 beating by the Patriots. The team then managed to finish at .500, after a change at quarterback, likely saving the job of long-time coach Jeff Fisher.

Adams was widely criticized for his decision to return to the role of team president rather than renewing the contract of the existing one. Reportedly Adams has arranged his affairs in such a way as to ensure his family will retain ownership of the team after his death.

Adams was fined $250,000 by the NFL for this act of displaying an obscene gesture at the Titans/Bills game on November 15, 2009.

On November 15, 2009, Adams was caught on video displaying an obscene gesture towards the Buffalo bench after the Titans routed the Bills 41-14. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who happened to be attending the game, fined him $250,000. Afterwards, Adams remarked "Oh, I knew I was going to get in trouble for that. I was just so happy we won."[6]

A promising 5-2 start in 2010 quickly fell apart after season-ending injuries to starting QB Vince Young and star WR Kenny Britt left them with an abysmal offense. The Titans lost 8 of their next 9 games, resulting in a 6-10 season and being placed last in their division. Multiple conflicts between Adams, Jeff Fisher, and Vince Young led to the latter two being terminated in January 2011.

The Nashville Kats (Arena Football)[edit]

In 2001, Adams purchased the rights to operate an Arena Football League expansion franchise in Nashville for a reported $4,000,000. He found it impossible at first to negotiate a favorable lease for the use of the Gaylord Entertainment Center (now called Bridgestone Arena) from that facility's primary tenant and operator, the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators. A previous AFL team (the original Nashville Kats owned by Mark Bloom) had been forced by an unfavorable lease agreement to leave Nashville and move to Atlanta (with this team thus becoming known as the Georgia Force). This lease agreement resulted in sizable financial losses despite average attendance of over 10,000 per home game for the original Kats. Motivated by bitter memories of being a secondary tenant at the Astrodome, Adams briefly considered either financing the renovation of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium for use as an indoor football venue, building an entirely new facility with a seating capacity of 12,000 or so (dropped when Adams was convinced that the potential $30,000,000 price tag for such a building he had apparently initially been quoted was wildly optimistic), or expanding the Titans' existing indoor practice facility (at "Baptist Sports Park", named for a local hospital) for use as an Arena venue. As negotiations with the Predators dragged on and contingency planning continued, the Arena Football League extended his option on the new Nashville franchise at least twice.

By 2004, Adams and the Predators finally hammered out a mutually-acceptable lease agreement. Immediately afterward, it was announced that the new Nashville Kats franchise would begin play in the Arena Football League's 2005 season. Late in 2004 it was announced that country singer Tim McGraw had bought into the Kats franchise as a minority owner. This second Kats franchise reclaimed the name, logo, and Nashville history of the earlier franchise as its own (The original Kats franchise continued to operate as the Georgia Force until folding in 2008; Similarly, that franchise was reincarnated in 2011 when the existing AFL team Alabama Vipers relocated to the Atlanta area and assumed the Georgia Force identity).

As a result of limited on-field success and the subsequent drop in fan support and ticket sales, Bud Adams announced in October 2007 that the Kats would immediately cease operations.

Personal life[edit]

Adams was an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He had served on the executive committee of the Cherokee National Historical Society.[1]

He attended River Oaks Baptist Church in Houston. He and his wife Nancy Neville Adams were married for 62 years, until her death in February 2009 at the age of 84.[7] They had two daughters, Susan and Amy, and a son, Kenneth S. Adams III, each of whom (and their children) are registered Cherokee. Their son died in June 1987 at the age of 29 from apparent suicide.[8]


Bud Adams, Jr. died of natural causes at his home in Houston. Adams’ body was found in his River Oaks home after police were called for a welfare check. [9]

His 409 wins were the most of any current NFL owner. He won his 400th career win in the 2011 season finale when his Titans defeated the team that replaced his Oilers in Houston, the Texans. His franchise made 21 playoff appearances in 53 seasons, eighth among NFL teams since 1960.[10]

See also[edit] Biography portal World War II portal List of American Football League players References[edit] ^ a b c "History Museum receives generous gift", Examiner-Enterprise, 20 Nov 2004, accessed 21 Nov 2009 ^ Phillips: The First 66 Years, Oklahoma: Phillips Petroleum Company, 1983 ^ Denson, Andrew (2004). Demanding the Cherokee Nation: Indian autonomy and American culture, 1830-1900. U of Nebraska Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-8032-1726-3.  ^ Animosity toward Adams/Poll indicates Oilers' boss is own worst enemy. "The Houston Chronicle". Retrieved May 17, 2012. ^ Bouchette, Dan. Steelers-Oilers/Titans rivalry plays its final act in Pittsburgh under the Monday night spotlight. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2001-11-29. ^ "Adams draws $250K fine from NFL", ESPN News service, 16 Nov 2009, accessed 21 Nov 2009 ^ "Nancy Adams dies at 84". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-02-02.  ^ "Son of Oilers' owner Bud Adams Jr. dead from gunshot wound in apparent suicide", Houston Chronicle, 27 Jun 1987, accessed 3 Feb 2009 ^ http://www.khou.com/sports/Titans-owner-Bud-Adams-passes-away-in-Houston-228637641.html ^ http://www.khou.com/sports/Titans-owner-Bud-Adams-passes-away-in-Houston-228637641.html External links[edit] Tennessee Titans profile v t e Tennessee Titans Founded in 1960 as the Houston Oilers Based in Nashville, Tennessee Franchise History in Houston History in Tennessee Players Coaches Starting Quarterbacks Stadiums Jeppesen Stadium Rice Stadium Houston Astrodome Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Vanderbilt Stadium LP Field Culture Bud Adams Luv Ya Blue T-Rac Governor's Cup (Texas) Texans–Titans rivalry Cheerleaders Lore The Comeback Music City Miracle Final play of Super Bowl XXXIV Head Coaches Rymkus Lemm Ivy Baugh Taylor Lemm Hughes Peterson Gillman Phillips Biles Studley Campbell Glanville Pardee Fisher Munchak Division Championships (9) 1960 1961 1962 1967 1991 1993 2000 2002 2008 Super Bowl Appearances (1) XXXIV League championships (2) 1960, 1961 Retired Numbers #1 Warren Moon #34 Earl Campbell #43 Jim Norton #63 Mike Munchak #65 Elvin Bethea #74 Bruce Matthews Current League Affiliations League: National Football League Conference: American Football Conference Division: South Division   Seasons (54) 1960s 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970s 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980s 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990s 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000s 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010s 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 v t e Current owners of the National Football League American Football Conference AFC East

Ralph Wilson (Buffalo Bills)
Stephen M. Ross (Miami Dolphins)
Robert Kraft (New England Patriots)
Woody Johnson (New York Jets)

AFC North

Steve Bisciotti (Baltimore Ravens)
Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals)
Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland Browns)
Rooney Family (Pittsburgh Steelers)

AFC South

Bob McNair (Houston Texans)
Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts)
Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Estate of Bud Adams (Tennessee Titans)

AFC West

Pat Bowlen (Denver Broncos)
Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
Carol and Mark Davis (Oakland Raiders)
Alex Spanos (San Diego Chargers)

National Football Conference NFC East

Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
John Mara & Steve Tisch (New York Giants)
Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia Eagles)
Daniel Snyder (Washington Redskins)

NFC North

Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears)
William Clay Ford, Sr. (Detroit Lions)
Shareholders (Green Bay Packers)
Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings)

NFC South

Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons)
Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers)
Tom Benson (New Orleans Saints)
Malcolm Glazer (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

NFC West

Bill Bidwill (Arizona Cardinals)
Stan Kroenke (St. Louis Rams)
DeBartolo–York Family (San Francisco 49ers)
Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks)

v t e Lamar Hunt Award 2007 Members of "The Foolish Club": Lamar Hunt Bud Adams Harry Wismer Bob Howsam Barron Hilton Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Billy Sullivan Chet Soda and F. Wayne Valley 2008 Tony Dungy 2009 Monday Night Football: Roone Arledge Chet Forte Keith Jackson Howard Cosell Don Meredith Authority control VIAF: 50981203 Persondata Name Adams, Bud Alternative names Adams, Kenneth Stanley, Jr. Short description American football executive, owner Date of birth January 3, 1923 Place of birth Bartlesville, Oklahoma Date of death Place of death Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bud_Adams&oldid=578313776" Categories: 1923 births2013 deathsHouston Mavericks coachesHouston Oilers ownersTennessee Titans ownersMembers of the Foolish ClubAmerican Basketball Association executivesAmerican Football League ChampionsAmerican Football League ownersArena Football League executivesNational Football League team presidentsUniversity of Kansas alumniAmerican military personnel of World War IIPeople from Bartlesville, OklahomaPeople from Houston, TexasCherokee peopleKansas Jayhawks football playersAmerican people of Cherokee descentHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from July 2010All articles needing additional referencesRecent deathsWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiers Navigation menu Personal tools Create accountLog in Namespaces Article Talk Variants Views Read Edit View history Actions Search Navigation Main page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Donate to Wikipedia Interaction Help About Wikipedia Community portal Recent changes Contact page Toolbox What links here Related changes Upload file Special pages Permanent link Page information Data item Cite this page Print/export Create a book Download as PDF Printable version Languages Español Simple English Edit links This page was last modified on 22 October 2013 at 20:46.
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Follow Following Unfollow Lists | 10/21/2013 @ 2:25PM |4,687 views Bud Adams, Tennessee Titans' Billionaire Owner, Dies At 90 comments, called-out Comment Now Follow Comments Following Comments Unfollow Comments Comment Now Follow Comments Following Comments Unfollow Comments

Kenneth “Bud” Adams, Jr., the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, has died at the age of 90. The team announced that he ”passed away peacefully from natural causes.”

Adams was a founding owner of the American Football League in 1960, bringing professional football to Houston with a $25,000 purchase of the Oilers. In 1997, after a stadium dispute, he moved the team to Nashville and gave them a new name.

The Titans appreciated in value to $1.055 billion in 2013. Adams also had other assets including oil and real estate investments, as well as a prodigious collection of Western and Native American art and artifacts. FORBES estimated his total net worth at $1.25 billion in September.

Even at 90, Adams was committed to putting a winning team on the field. Back in May, he told The Tennessean: “We may have to pay some more money, but I’m in. I’m ready to go with it… I may have a heart attack if we don’t. I just had my 90th birthday and somebody asked me, ‘Adams, how long are you going to stay at this thing?’ I said ‘I’ve made it 90, so I might as well go to 100.’ And I’d like to get in the playoffs and see some winning football over that stretch, too.”

“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 humor that helped lighten many a tense meeting,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

Adams and his wife Nancy, whom he met when he played football for the University of Kansas, were married for 62 years before she passed away in 2009. While at KU, he joined the Navy reserves and was called up to active duty in 1943. Adams was sent overseas, where he served as an aviation engineering officer on a PAC-Fleet carrier unit. Returning to the U.S. in 1945, he served as an aide in the U.S. Navy’s Congressional Liaison Office prior to his discharge in 1946. After moving to Houston, Adams (whose father was a prominent oil executive) founded ADA Oil Company. He later renamed it Adams Resources & Energy and took it public in 1974.

Adams had two daughters and one son (who passed away), as well as seven grandchildren. In a 2008 interview with The USA Today, he said the Titans ownership would be split in thirds between his two daughters and the family of his deceased son. At the time, grandson Kenneth Adams IV was being groomed to eventually run the team. He currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel.

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Kenneth Adams, Jr.

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As a Wealth Reporter, I spend most of my time tracking down billionaires around the world, especially those that play in sports and dabble in technology. I also cover entrepreneurs from media to modeling, retail to real estate. Read my cover story on billionaire Shahid Khan. Follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my updates on Facebook. You can also email me at bsolomon [at] forbes [dotcom].

Brian Solomon’s Popular Posts The World's Youngest Billionaires: 29 Under 40 1,499,494 views The Wal-Mart Slayer: How Publix's People-First Culture Is Winning The Grocer War 311,275 views Shahid Khan: The New Face Of The NFL And The American Dream 217,750 views Billionaires' Tips For New Grads: Advice From Jobs, Oprah, Zuckerberg And More 217,380 views The World's Highest Paid Models 170,097 views More from Brian Solomon Follow Brian Solomon on Twitter Follow Brian Solomon on Facebook Brian Solomon’s RSS Feed Brian Solomon’s Profile Inside Forbes FORBES' List Of America's Best Business Schools 2013 Forbes ranking of MBA programs found that the degree still pays off at our top 25 U.S. programs--just not as fast. The Top Hiring Employers In Metro Areas Right Now Ask For Big Bills, Other Life Hacks For Your Wallet see photos Meet The Most Disiked NFL Players 2013 Real-Time Billionaires Channels Business Investing Technology Entrepreneurs Op/Ed Leadership Lifestyle Lists Company Info Forbes Careers Advertising Information Forbes Press Room Forbes Newsfeeds Investment Newsletters Reprints & Permissions Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement Contact Us Sitemap Help Affiliate Sites Forbes China Forbes India Forbes Israel Forbes Mexico Forbes Middle East Forbes Poland Forbes Romania Forbes Russia Forbes Ukraine RealClear Politics RealClear Markets RealClear World RealClear Sports Forbes Conferences Forbes Asia’s Power Business Women Forbes Women’s Summit Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit Global CEO Conference Forbes Healthcare Summit Forbes CMO Summit Forbes Asia's Best Under A Billion Techonomy Forbes Innovators Forbes and NAPFA Advisor iConference Forbes Reinventing America Summit Publications Free Trial Issue Subscriber Services Buy Back Issues Data Partners Market Data by Morningstar Thomson Reuters AdChoices 2013 Forbes.com LLC™   All Rights Reserved

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