Former Philadelphia Eagles Owner Leonard Tose Dies
April 15, 2003
The Eagles were saddened to learn that former team owner Leonard Tose died Tuesday afternoon at St. Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia. Tose, owner of the Eagles from 1969-1985, was 88 years old. "On behalf of the entire Eagles organization, I sincerely regret the passing of Leonard Tose today," said Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie. "I respect what he did for this organization during his 16 years as owner. The city of Philadelphia and the National Football League lost a valuable contributor to their communities today." In 1969, Tose purchased the Eagles for a then-record sum in excess of $16 million. After 16 years of ownership, Tose sold the Eagles to Norman Braman on April 29, 1985. While with the Eagles, Tose lent his financial and administrative support to high school football programs in Philadelphia, establishing the Philadelphia City All-Star Football Game. He also established Eagles Fly for Leukemia in 1973 to help support former Eagles tight end Fred Hill, whose daughter Kim was afflicted with leukemia.
"I've lost a very close friend," said former Eagles and current Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil. "I think the National Football League has lost one of its most unique characters in a position of ownership that ever existed. He was not ordinary. He lived life to its fullest. He tested it and, for the most part, got the most out of it." A graduate of Notre Dame in 1937 and a veteran of the United States Army, Tose joined the family trucking business founded by his father, Mike Tose, who immigrated from Russia. He sold his interest in the company in order to devote his full attention to the Eagles. Tose is survived by two daughters, Susan Spencer and Nan, a grandaughter, Marnie, and two great grandchildren, Jonathan and Goldie.
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