Alex Gus Spanos, owner of the Chargers and founder of A.G. Spanos Companies, a family-owned real estate and construction company, died at age 95 on Tuesday morning.
In August 1984, Spanos purchased 60 percent of the Chargers NFL franchise from then majority owner Eugene Klein for $50 million. Over the course of a decade, Spanos was able to buy out the shares of several minority owners to own 97 percent of the football team.
Upon purchasing the then San Diego Chargers, Spanos continued to live in Stockton, Calif., while his oldest son, Dean Spanos, moved to San Diego to help run the team. In 2008, the team announced that Spanos was suffering from dementia and he eventually stopped attending games.
Spanos was born in 1923, the son of Greek immigrants, who worked his way to acquire much of his fortune in the construction and real estate business. Over the course of his life, he amassed $2.4 billion net worth according to Forbes.
The Chargers Community Foundation was formed and funded by Spanos and continues to support causes, individuals in need and community organizations. Under the Spanos ownership group, it took nine seasons for the Chargers to reach their first playoff appearance in 1992. The pinnacle for the franchise under his direction came in 1994, when the Chargers competed in Super Bowl XXIX where the team ultimately lost to the San Francisco 49ers.
After 56 years of being in San Diego, Dean Spanos decided to move the Chargers to Los Angeles in 2017. The Chargers franchise is currently valued at $2.275 billion according to Forbes’ 2018 team valuations.
Faye Spanos, his wife, died in August at 92. He is succeeded by his four children, 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
“We have no words that can adequately express our sadness with his passing,” the Chargers wrote in a statement. “We will continue to honor his legacy by dedicating ourselves to making a difference in the community and throughout our country.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the days to come.