Alex Spanos, Chargers owner and businessman, dies at 95
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.