Buffalo Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson dies at age 95

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Ralph Wilson was the last surviving member of the original American Football League owners, a group of eight innovators known as "The Foolish Club." He bought the Bills for $25,000 in 1959, and owned them for 54 years. In 2009, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wilson is credited with initiating AFL-NFL merger talks with Carroll Rosenbloom, then owner of the NFL’s Baltimore Colts, in January of 1965. - Frank Schwab, Shutdown Corner

FILE - In this April 1966, file photo, Al Davis, right, the head coach-general manager of the Oakland Raiders, was named the new American Football League Commissioner in Houston by Ralph Wilson, left, President of the AFL and owner of the Buffalo Bills. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky, File)
In this April 1966, file photo, Al Davis, right, the head coach-general manager of the Oakland Raiders, was named the new American Football League Commissioner in Houston by Ralph Wilson, left, President of the AFL and owner of the Buffalo Bills. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
FILE - In this April 1966, file photo, Al Davis, right, the head coach-general manager of the Oakland Raiders, was named the new American Football League Commissioner in Houston by Ralph Wilson, left, President of the AFL and owner of the Buffalo Bills. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Ed Kolenovsky, File)
In this 1970 photo provided by NFL Photos, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson poses for a photo in Buffalo, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was 95. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
In this 1970 photo provided by NFL Photos, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson poses for a photo in Buffalo, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was 95. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
In this 1970 photo provided by NFL Photos, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson poses for a photo in Buffalo, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was 95. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
FILE - In this July 26, 1972, file photo, Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills football team, listens to a question as he appeared before the House Select Committee on Crime in Washington. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry, File)
In this July 26, 1972, file photo, Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills football team, listens to a question as he appeared before the House Select Committee on Crime in Washington. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014
FILE - In this July 26, 1972, file photo, Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills football team, listens to a question as he appeared before the House Select Committee on Crime in Washington. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry, File)
18 Nov 2001: Quarterback Jim Kelly #12 of the Buffalo Bills speaking at the podium with President Ralph Wilson Jr. during Jim Kelly's Retirement Ceremony before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Seahawks defeated the Bills 23-20.Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
18 Nov 2001: Quarterback Jim Kelly #12 of the Buffalo Bills speaking at the podium with President Ralph Wilson Jr. during Jim Kelly's Retirement Ceremony before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Seahawks defeated the Bills 23-20.Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
18 Nov 2001: Quarterback Jim Kelly #12 of the Buffalo Bills speaking at the podium with President Ralph Wilson Jr. during Jim Kelly's Retirement Ceremony before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Seahawks defeated the Bills 23-20.Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 3: Jim Kelly (left) stands next to his bust with Ralph Wilson (center), owner of the Buffalo Bills and his presenter and former head coach Marv Levy (right) after his induction into the National Football League Hall of Fame on August 3, 2002 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kelly played quarterback for the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to 1996 and led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearences during his NFL career. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 3: Jim Kelly (left) stands next to his bust with Ralph Wilson (center), owner of the Buffalo Bills and his presenter and former head coach Marv Levy (right) after his induction into the National Football League Hall of Fame on August 3, 2002 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kelly played quarterback for the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to 1996 and led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearences during his NFL career. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 3: Jim Kelly (left) stands next to his bust with Ralph Wilson (center), owner of the Buffalo Bills and his presenter and former head coach Marv Levy (right) after his induction into the National Football League Hall of Fame on August 3, 2002 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Kelly played quarterback for the Buffalo Bills from 1986 to 1996 and led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearences during his NFL career. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
<div>Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson checks the field. The Bills defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 38 - 17 (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)</div>
Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson checks the field. The Bills defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 38 - 17 (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson checks the field. The Bills defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 38 - 17 (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2009, file photo Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson gestures during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Chris O&#39;Meara, File)
In this Jan. 31, 2009, file photo Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson gestures during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2009, file photo Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson gestures during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
FILE - In this July 27, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., left, watches Bills&#39; Terrell Owens run a drill during NFL football training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league&#39;s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/ David Duprey, File)
In this July 27, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., left, watches Bills' Terrell Owens run a drill during NFL football training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014
FILE - In this July 27, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., left, watches Bills' Terrell Owens run a drill during NFL football training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/ David Duprey, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2009, file photo, Ralph Wilson Jr., fourth from left, owner of the Buffalo Bills, poses with his bust and former Buffalo Bills players, from left, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Marv Levy, Joe DeLamielleure, James Lofton, Billy Shaw and Jim Kelly during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league&#39;s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
In this Aug. 8, 2009, file photo, Ralph Wilson Jr., fourth from left, owner of the Buffalo Bills, poses with his bust and former Buffalo Bills players, from left, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Marv Levy, Joe DeLamielleure, James Lofton, Billy Shaw and Jim Kelly during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2009, file photo, Ralph Wilson Jr., fourth from left, owner of the Buffalo Bills, poses with his bust and former Buffalo Bills players, from left, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Marv Levy, Joe DeLamielleure, James Lofton, Billy Shaw and Jim Kelly during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills&#39; owner Ralph Wilson Jr. holds up his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime NFL football ceremony against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league&#39;s annual meeting. (AP Photo/Dean Duprey, File)
Bills owner Ralph Wilson dies at 95
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills' owner Ralph Wilson Jr. holds up his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime NFL football ceremony against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting. (AP Photo/Dean Duprey, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. celebrates his Hall of Fame induction at a half-time ceremony during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league&#39;s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Don Heupel, File)
In this Nov. 1, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. celebrates his Hall of Fame induction at a half-time ceremony during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2009, file photo, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. celebrates his Hall of Fame induction at a half-time ceremony during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95. NFL.com says team president Russ Brandon announced his death at the league's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/Don Heupel, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011, file photo, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, left, poses for a photo with Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., right, before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)
In this Nov. 6, 2011, file photo, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, left, poses for a photo with Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., right, before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011, file photo, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, left, poses for a photo with Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., right, before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills owner Wilson Jr. has died at the age of 95 at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. Bills president Russ Brandon made the announcement at the NFL winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Wilson Jr. was one of the original founders of the American Football League and owned the Bills for the last 54 years. (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)

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