Alex Spanos, Los Angeles Chargers Owner, Dies at 95

He purchased a controlling interest in the team in 1984 for $48.3 million

Last Updated: October 9, 2018 @ 12:01 PM

Alex Spanos, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 95.

The family announced the news in a statement on the team’s official website and in a tweet.

“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,” the team said in a statement.

Born the son of Greek immigrants in 1923, Spanos began his own catering business serving farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley. He later began investing in real estate and in 1960, formed the A.G. Spanos Construction Company, which is how he amassed his fortune.

“Alex Spanos is an American success story, driven by a tireless work ethic inspired by his humble beginnings as the son of Greek immigrants,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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 bought a controlling interest in the team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers in 1984 for $48.3 million from Eugene Klein. The team is now worth $2.27 billion, according to Forbes.

During his ownership, the Chargers went to their first Super Bowl following the 1994 season, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

His son Dean has served as the Chargers’ president since 1994 and is the team’s controlling owner/chairman of the board. Spanos’ youngest son, Michael, is the Chargers vice chairman and run the family’s construction business.

In 2017, the team left San Diego, which had been its home since 1961, to return to Los Angeles, where the franchise was founded in 1960. The Chargers currently play in the StubHub Center in Carson, California, and will move into a new stadium with the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California, in 2020.

Spanos is survived by his four children, 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Faye, his wife of nearly 70 years, died on Aug. 8.