Self-made billionaire, Tom Benson died Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 90-years-old after being hospitalized since February 16, 2018 with flu-like symptoms. Benson, a staple of New Orleans, purchased the Saints franchise in 1985 and the Pelicans, then the Hornets, in 2012.

Thomas Milton Benson was born in New Orleans in 1927. He served in the US Navy before attending Loyola University in New Orleans, graduating with a degree in accounting in 1948. He then went from being a car salesman, to owning car dealerships and real estate, to investing in banks, then finally to sports team ownership.

Benson is widely credited with taking an under-performing Saints team and giving it the boost when it was for sale and could be moved to another city. After Benson bought the, the Saints made 11 trips to the post season, including one Super Bowl after the 2009 season. 

Thank you for your contributions not only to the city of New Orleans Mr. Benson, but to the entire state of Louisiana.

According to Louisiana Radio Networks, Mr. Benson’s wife, Gayle Benson, will run both professional franchises.