Tom Benson, Saints & Pelicans Owner, Dies at 90

Billionaire businessman Tom Benson- who owned the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans- has died his family has confirmed

Billionaire businessman Tom Benson- who owned the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans- has died his family has confirmed

New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson died Thursday at the age of 90, the Saints announced.

Benson's wife, Gayle Benson, is the principal in GMB Racing, which began buying yearlings in 2014 and managed to get two of their first purchases, Mo Tom and Tom's Ready, into the 2016 Kentucky Derby. The peak of Benson's tenure came in 2009 when the club went 13-3 and defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44.

The Saints made two National Football League title appearances and achieved 11 play-off berths during the billionaire's time in charge.

When Benson purchased the Saints, there were rumors of the team being sold to investors that would relocate the franchise, but he was able to keep the team in New Orleans. Benson, a successful auto dealer who brought the New Orleans Saints their only winning seasons and the "Benson Boogie", has died.

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Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Benson was a friend to the university, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Catholic community, and the entire city of New Orleans. And I know the people of Louisiana join Don and myself as we pray for gaelic for Tom's family.

January 18, 2006 - Sean Payton is hired as Head Coach.

Per Benson's will, his wife Gayle now takes over as owner of the teams. Mr. Benson purchased the Saints on May, 31, 1985.

While the Falcons and Saints continue to have one of the NFL's fiercest rivalries in the NFC South, Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank called Benson a pillar of the league for more than 30 years and a champion of New Orleans. Soon after, the team changed their name to the Pelicans, a name which Benson believed better represented the city.

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The Saints never had a winning season before Benson took over.

"Well, they tried to kill me for one thing".

Benson's commitment to New Orleans also spread beyond his teams. They also invested in local companies like Dixie Beer, and TV and film production companies. He seemed to do the same after Katrina, but instead the team helped drive a resurgence in New Orleans.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker will hop on the show to discuss the legacy of Benson.

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