Bowlen would serve as CEO for the franchise for the next 30 years, until 2014, when his battle with Alzheimer's became too much to continue on the job.
The Bowlen family released a statement via the team that said: "We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family". "Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos".
When the Broncos made their Super Bowl run in 1997, Bowlen coined the phrase "This one's for John!" which he used repeatedly in discussing the victory for then-QB John Elway, who spent the majority of his career fighting to earn a title and finally got two of them on the back end.
"What the family has tried to do is uphold the wishes of Pat Bowlen which is that one of his children take over for him and from what I'm told, Brittany Bowlen has emerged as the most likely successor", Rapoport said. "He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will endure through the team he built, the community he loved and his well-deserved recognition as a Pro Football Hall of Famer".
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"There was no owner or person like Pat Bowlen". He was co-chair of the NFL management council executive committee from 2010 to 2011 and, as head of the NFL's broadcast committee, helped secure the league's massively lucrative television contracts and pushed for the creation of the "Sunday Night Football" franchise, which has become a constant ratings victor for NBC.
"Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos", Ellis said.
Broncos President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway "Pat gave me so much and he was someone that I always looked up to".
Bowlen was on hand to see his team win its third championship at Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. I will forever be grateful for his friendship and support over the years. Whether things were going right or things weren't going right, he would always let you know what we needed to get better. His shoes will never be filled. His wife, Annabel, would later reveal she too is battling the disease.