Robert McNair died Friday. The Houston Texans organization announced his passing and many within the organization voiced their condolences. McNair was one of the founding members of the Texans and a long time businessman in Texas.
After the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee to become the Tennesee Titans, McNair helped lead the push to bring an NFL franchise back to Houston. In 1999, the NFL awarded Houston the 32nd NFL franchise and the Texans played their first season in 2002.
It is with deep sadness that we announce Houston Texans Founder, Senior Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and philanthropist, Robert C. McNair passed away peacefully in Houston today with his loving wife, Janice, and his family by his side. pic.twitter.com/7J9PWoxKZv
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) November 23, 2018
Texans Owner Robert McNair Has Died at 81
The owner of the Texans paid $700 million to bring an expansion team to Houston in 1999. Though McNair has made some controversial statements recently, he is well respected as a longtime NFL franchise owner, philanthropist, and businessman.
McNair was born on January 1, 1937. He was born in Tampa, Florida and attended college at the Univeristy of South Carolina. Over the years, McNair has founded or chaired a few different companies in the science/technology sector as well as in real estate. But McNair is best known for his ownership of the Houston Texans organization and his philanthropic work.
In 1988, the McNairs founded the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. The foundation is still active today and they fund multiple areas including in medicine, entrepreneurship, and a scholarship program. McNair’s work is appreciated by many, including former President, George H.W. Bush. Bush’s spokesman released a statement praising McNair for his generosity after his passing.
McNair’s death comes after more than one bout with cancer. ABC 13 of Houston reports that McNair battled both leukemia and squamous cell carcinoma for almost 20 years. To this point, the Texans have made the playoffs four times in their history. The team is currently 7-3 after starting the season at 0-3 and are looking strong. Perhaps the passing of their long time owner will help motivate the team as they press forward after this sad news.