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The Los Angeles Chargers announced the death of team owner Alex Spanos at the age of 95 on Tuesday.
An official cause of death was not given. However, he published a letter in 2008 in which he discussed being diagnosed with dementia. He also previously survived a heart bypass surgery in 2000, and underwent chemotherapy for colon cancer around 2005.
Buying - Minority - Share - Charges - Billionaire
After first buying a minority share of the Charges in 1980, the billionaire purchased a controlling portion of the team in 1984 from majority owner Eugene Klein for $70 million.
At the time of his death, Spanos owned 97 percent of the franchise, which Forbes recently valued at $2.3 billion.
Beginnings - Apartment - Builder - Nation - Owner
'From humble beginnings to becoming the top apartment builder across the nation and the owner of an NFL franchise, Alex proved that dreams do come true,' according to the family's statement.
Later Alex Spanos put son Dean in charge of the team and personally retired. Alex Spanos' grandsons, A.G. and John, took over day-to-day operations in 2015.
Franchise - Los - Angeles - Member - AFL
In 2017, the franchise to Los Angeles - where it began as a member of the AFL in 1960, before moving to San Diego for 56 years.
Under Spanos, the Chargers reached Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26.
Stockton - California - Native - Son - Baker
A Stockton, California native and the son of a baker, Spanos joined the Army's Air Force as a teenager and trained as a pilot. Ultimately he served as a tail gunner in World War II.
He built a small fortune by 1955, investing in real estate - specifically apartment buildings.
Addition - Amounts - University - Pacific - City
In addition to donating significant amounts to the University of the Pacific and the city of Stockton, Spanos also gave major contributions to organizations linked to George W. Bush's re-election campaign.
'His uncompromising drive for success – one rooted in toughness, resilience and hard work...
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