Chargers patriarch Alex Spanos dies at age 95

  • By Around The NFL staff
More Columns >

The Spanos family patriarch died.

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Alex Spanos passed away Tuesday morning. He was 95.

"Fiercely loyal, competitive, passionate and loving -- that was Alex Spanos," the team characterized the long-time owner. "As Alex would say, 'Believe in yourself. There is nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it.'"

Born to Greek immigrants in 1923, Spanos lived out that sentiment. He amassed enough wealth to purchase a majority share of the San Diego Chargers in 1984. Over the next decade, he bought up most of the remaining shares of the team.

Spanos was an active owner in the NFL, serving on many committees including the Expansion and Realignment Committee in 1991. He was influential in bringing Super Bowl XXXII (1998) and XXXVII (2003) to San Diego.

He was adamant in helping make the Chargers a respected franchise and led the team to a Super Bowl XXIX appearance in 1994.

Viewed as a savvy businessman and a philanthropic leader, Spanos created and funded The Chargers Community Foundation which still supports numerous causes, and aids those in need within the community.

Spanos' wife, Faye, died in August at age 92. The couple had four children, 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell offered condolences on the passing of Spanos:

"Alex Spanos is an American success story, driven by a tireless work ethic inspired by his humble beginnings as the son of Greek immigrants. Alex became one of the country's most successful businessmen, but he never forgot his roots and the call to help others. Along with Faye, his beloved wife of nearly 70 years, Alex's philanthropic and civic contributions touched many lives throughout California and around the country. He was a marvelous friend and partner, whose impact on the NFL will never be forgotten. We all benefited from Alex's compassion, character and zest for football and life. On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our deepest condolences to Dean, the entire Spanos family and the Chargers organization."

Spanos' son, Dean, served as President of the Chargers since early in 1994 and remains controlling owner and chairman of the board. In 2015, Alex Spanos' grandsons, A.G. and John, took over day-to-day operation of the family-owned team.