Kansas City Chiefs’ founder and owner Lamar Hunt has died at the age of 74. Hunt, who had battled cancer since 1998, was recently hospitalized with a partially collapsed lung. He died Wednesday night in Dallas.
Hunt’s association with Kansas City sports began in the early 1960s when he was looking for a new home for his struggling Dallas Texas of the old American Football League. Hunt had attended a Kansas City Athletics-New York Yankees baseball series at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, was impressed with the huge turnout for the series, and opted to move his Texans north for the 1963 season. A short time later, Hunt played a key role in the AFL’s merger with the National Football League and the creation of what was then called the AFL-NFL Championship Game – whose name was later changed to the Super Bowl. Hunt even gets credit for the name of the biggest event in North American sports, borrowing that name from his kids’ Super Ball toy.
While he was perhaps best known for his contributions to football, Hunt’s association with sports was not limited to the gridiron. This co-founder of the American Football League also formed World Championship Tennis and was instrumental in the birth of Major League Soccer, eventually owning three MLS teams, including the Kansas City Wizards.
Hunt, who inherited his wealth from his father, an oil baron, was involved in numerous business ventures in the Kansas City area under the banner of Hunt Midwest Enterprises. Subsidiaries are Hunt Midwest Mining and Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, which includes SubTropolis – the world’s largest underground business complex. At one time the Hunt family also owned the Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun theme parks.
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