Buffalo Bills founder, football Hall of Fame member Ralph Wilson dies

Upon forming the Buffalo Bills in 1959, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. became one of the co-founders of the American Football League.

Story highlights

  • Andre Reed calls Wilson a father figure; current player says he was a "great man"
  • Ralph Wilson was a co-founder of the American Football League
  • He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009
  • Bills CEO: "We have lost our founder, our mentor, our friend"
Ralph C. Wilson Jr. -- the founder and longtime beloved owner of the Buffalo Bills, not to mention a leading figure in the NFL's rise to prominence -- has died, his team announced Tuesday.
He was 95.
Upon forming the Bills in 1959, Wilson became one of the co-founders of the American Football League. A few years later, he was key to negotiations with leaders of the rival National Football League that paved the way for today's immensely popular and profitable professional football league. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called him "a driving force in developing pro football."