Alex Spanos, Charg­ers owner and busi­ness­man, dies at 95

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

STOCK­TON, Calif. — Alex Spanos, the son of Greek im­mi­grants who used a self-made for­tune from con­struc­tion and real es­tate to buy the Charg­ers in 1984, died on Oct. 9. He was 95.

The Charg­ers an­nounced Spanos’ death. Faye Spanos, his wife, died in Au­gust at 92.

Af­ter build­ing a na­tion­wide con­struc­tion em­pire based in Stock­ton, his North­ern Cal­i­for­nia home­town, Spanos re­al­ized a life­long dream of own­ing an NFL fran­chise when he bought con­trol­ling in­ter­est in the San Diego Charg­ers from Gene Klein in 1984 for about $50 mil­lion. He even­tu­ally bought all but 3 per­cent of the team.

Spanos hadn’t been in charge of day- to-day man­age­ment of the Charg­ers since 1994, when he turned over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to Dean Spanos, his old­est son. The team an­nounced in 2008 that Alex Spanos was suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia, and he even­tu­ally stopped at­tend­ing games.

Born in Stock­ton on Sept. 28, 1923, Spanos took an un­likely road to NFL own­er­ship. Af­ter work­ing in his fa­ther’s bak­ery and serv­ing in the Air Force dur­ing World War II, Spanos bor­rowed $800 from a banker to buy a truck from which he sold sand­wiches to mi­grant farm work­ers in the San Joaquin Val­ley. He be­gan in­vest­ing in real es­tate and started a con­struc­tion com­pany that mostly built apart­ment build­ings, even­tu­ally ex­pand­ing its foot­print across the Sun­belt and Mid­west.

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