Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at 75
John Leyba / Denver Post / Getty

The Denver Broncos announced the passing of owner Pat Bowlen early Friday morning at age 75.

Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984, serving as the team's CEO until July 2014 when he stepped down due to his battle with Alzheimer's disease.

"This is a very sad day for our organization, our community, and the National Football League," team president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement. "Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner - he was a Hall of Fame person.

"His competitiveness, kindness, and humility are the qualities that I will always remember. Even during his battle with Alzheimer's, you could still see that same strength and dignity in Pat that he brought to the office every single day for more than 30 years."

Bowlen was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor in the class of 2019 and will be enshrined in August. He was the first owner in NFL history to see his team accumulate 300 wins during his first 30 seasons.

Amazingly, Bowlen's Broncos had as many Super Bowl appearances as losing seasons (seven) after he took over the franchise. Denver won the championship in three of those appearances.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at 75
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