Former Minnesota Vikings and San Antonio Spurs Owner Red McCombs Dies at 95

Red McCombs, the Texas billionaire who owned the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, died on Monday, his family announced, per ESPN. He was 95 years old, and the cause of death was not announced. McCombs also owned the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. 

"Red was a visionary entrepreneur who touched many lives and impacted our community in immeasurable ways," the statement read. "But to us he was always, first and foremost, 'Dad' or 'Poppop.' We mourn the loss of a Texas icon."  

McCombs purchased the Vikings in 1998 for $246 million. He owned the team until 2005 when he was frustrated by efforts to build a new stadium and sold the team to the Wilf family for $600 million. The Vikings had success while McCombs was the owner as they reached the NFC Championship game twice. 

The Minnesota Vikings are saddened by the passing of former team owner Red McCombs," the Vikings said in a statement. "Red embodied his famous 'Purple Pride' phrase and remained a staunch Vikings fan after passing the torch to the Wilf family in 2005. While Red had a clear passion for sports, it was evident what he loved the most were his children and grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCombs family during this difficult time. We will be forever grateful for Red and Charline's contributions to the Vikings."

McCombs became the owner of the Spurs when he purchased the ABA's Dallas Chaparrals and moved the team to San Antonio for the 1973-74 season. In 1982, McCombs sold his share of the Spurs to buy the Nuggets after George "The Iceman" Gervin became a star for the team. He then rebought his share of the Spurs in 1986 before purchasing the team outright in 1988. 

"I can say Red [was] a friend," Hall of Famer Gervin told the Houston Chronicle on Monday. "The impact he had on this city is unbelievable. We always say, 'Everything Red touches turns to gold.' It's a reality. His vision for this city, his vision for the Spurs. We named them [the Spurs] after the city he grew up in [Spur, Texas]. So that tells you a lot about his influence on the Spurs." McCombs sold the Spurs in 1993. In his lifetime, McCombs owned more than 400 businesses, according to the McCombs Enterprises website. He also was the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, which later became iHeartCommuniticaions Inc.