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The Owners
John Steinbreder
September 13, 1993
A few of them are household names. Some of them you've never heard of. All of them are rich. How rich? In the following pages we rank 93 team owners by net worth, from the biggest billionaires to the merest of millionaires
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September 13, 1993

The Owners

A few of them are household names. Some of them you've never heard of. All of them are rich. How rich? In the following pages we rank 93 team owners by net worth, from the biggest billionaires to the merest of millionaires

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14 William Clay Ford
Detroit Lions
Net Worth: $600 Million
Grandson of automaker Henry Ford. Owns more than eight million shares of Ford stock and, at 68, serves as chairman of the executive and finance committees of the Ford board. Saw the Lions' first game in Detroit, in 1934, when he was nine. Bought the team in '63. Lions have not won an NFL championship since '57; his patience ran out in '73 when he kicked in TV set while watching team lose again. Married to the former Martha Firestone, a match made in auto heaven.

15 Wayne Huizenga
Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers
Net Worth: $600 Million
College dropout who got his start driving a garbage truck. Built trash-hauling business into Waste Management, Inc., largest waste-disposal company in U.S. Tried to retire in 1984 but couldn't sit still. Bought into a small chain of video stores that grew into Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. Age 55, also owns 15% of Miami Dolphins and 50% of Joe Robbie Stadium. Panthers, an NHL expansion team, begin play in October.

16 Jeremy M. Jacobs
Boston Bruins
Net Worth: $500 Million
Fifty-two-year-old CEO of Delaware North, a $1.3 billion Buffalo-based company, formerly called Emprise, involved in arena and airline food services and pari-mutuel operations. Concessionaire to 22 pro sports teams and recent winner of the concession rights for Yosemite National Park. The family-owned firm was convicted in 1972, along with three organized-crime figures, for conspiring to obtain secret ownership of a casino; Jeremy, however, was not implicated in the case.

17 The Wirtz Family
Chicago Blackhawks
Net Worth: $500 Million
Patriarch Arthur built an empire on real estate and sports. He acquired sports arenas, including Chicago Stadium and Madison Square Garden, in the 1930s and brought Sonja Henie and other foreign Olympic stars to U.S. to build gate. Was forced to sell the Garden by antitrust ruling in '59. His eldest son, William, learned to rope cattle alongside Hopalong Cassidy at the stadium and also sparred with Sugar Ray Robinson. Now he manages family holdings, which include a liquor distributorship, banks, thoroughbred racehorses and a minority interest in the Chicago Bulls. Building new Chicago arena with principal Bull owner Jerry Reinsdorf (No. 63). William, 63, is slowing down; so sons Peter, 32, and Rocky, 40, are running more of the show.

18 Drayton McLane
Houston Astros
Net Worth: $400 Million
Native Texan who took a small, family-run grocery distributorship that his grandfather started in 1894 and built it into one of the world's largest. Sold McLane Co. to longtime friend Sam Walton in '90 for more than $300 million. At 57, McLane is vice-chairman of Wal-Mart and owner of more than 10 million shares of the company's stock. Bought Astros in '92 from John McMullen (No. 46).

19 Hugh Culverhouse
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Net Worth: $350 Million
While a member of University of Alabama boxing team, sparred with future governor George Wallace. Pilot in the Air Force. Worked as a lawyer for IRS, then started his own practice. Counted Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo among his clients. Presided over wedding ceremonies for seventh marriage of Los Angeles Ram owner Georgia Frontiere (No. 41). Owns lots of Florida real estate, including his mansion, on the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, modeled after El Greco's retreat in Spain. At age 74, is suffering from lung cancer. Daughter Gay serves as team president.

20 Melvin Simon
Indiana Pacers
Net Worth: $350 Million
Transplanted New Yorker owns Pacers 50-50 with younger brother Herb (No. 48). Made fortune developing shopping centers; his Indianapolis-based development company, Simon & Associates, is second-largest manager and fourth-largest developer of shopping centers in the U.S. (171 centers in 35 states). Bought Pacers in 1983 to keep team from relocating. At age 66, is one of the gaudiest dressers in Indianapolis. Has backed such films as Porky's and Love at First Bite, but abandoned Hollywood after losses mounted. During moviemaking days his daughter Deborah, then 25, was kidnapped in the driveway of the family mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. Though bound and gagged, she escaped when her captor left her to put a ransom note in the Simons' mailbox.

21 Alex Spanos
San Diego Chargers
Net Worth: $350 Million
Owns 88% of Chargers. As a boy, worked in Greek immigrant father's bakery. Attended Obispo (now the University of the Pacific), where he competed as a diver. Also started catering company while in college, selling sandwiches to migrant workers in the fields around his hometown of Stockton, Calif., where he still lives. Founded A.C. Spanos Construction in 1961. Now, at age 69, one of the country's major owners of apartment buildings. Has two private planes, three full-time pilots and a flight attendant. Good friend of Bob Hope's, with whom he once did a song-and-dance act at Carnegie Hall.

22 Gene Autry
California Angels
Net Worth: $300 Million
Now 85, the Singing Cowboy has owned the Angels since their inception, in 1960. Also has four radio stations; the Autry Resort in Palm Springs, Calif.; three music-publishing companies; and the rights to all his old movies, radio and TV shows, and records (including Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which has sold more than 50 million copies). Despite generous payroll, has not yet been able to buy a world championship. Wife Jackie is team's executive vice-president.

23 Ken Behring
Seattle Seahawks
Net Worth: $300 Million
Onetime used-car salesman who became real estate developer. Developed the entire city of Tamarac, Fla. (pop. 29,376). Landmark project is the 4,800-acre Blackhawk development in Danville, Calif., east of Oakland. Age 65. Owns 75% of Seahawks and has a stunning collection of antique cars. His house in Black-hawk, worth a reported $15 million, has 30,000 square feet of floor space and a stream running through the living room.

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