Malcolm Glazer passes away, aged 85

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers' announce Malcolm Glazer's passing earlier today.

The Buccaneers have announced that the second owner in franchise history, Malcolm Glazer, passed away this morning at the age of 85.

After a period under Hugh Culverhouse's ownership that was marked with ill feeling between players and the owner, Glazer's purchase of the team saw a huge turnaround in the team's fortunes. Under his ownership, the Bucs went from the worst team in the sport by a considerable margin, to Super Bowl champions in just seven seasons.

Below is the Buccaneers' statement in full:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saddened to announce the passing of Owner/President Malcolm Glazer earlier this morning at the age of 85.

A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide. Since being purchased by Glazer in 1995, the Buccaneers franchise has earned seven playoff berths, five playoff wins, and captured its first Super Bowl championship in 2002.

Known among his league peers as a pioneering thinker, Glazer infused his team and employees with the determination and dedication to be the best in the NFL. Glazer's commitment to building a championship organization has provided the foundation for continued success, on and off the field.

Glazer's input was instrumental on the league level as well, as evidenced by his time serving on the NFL's Finance Committee. He also played a major role in Tampa becoming a host for the Super Bowl on several occasions.

In 1999, Glazer launched the Glazer Family Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting charitable and educational causes in the Tampa Bay community, highlighted by the opening of the Glazer Children's Museum in 2010. In its 15 years of existence, the Foundation has donated millions in programs, tickets, grants and in-kind contributions.

In 2005, Glazer purchased Manchester United. Since then, the club captured five Premier League titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013), as well as the 2008 Champions League title.

Born in Rochester, New York as one of seven children, Glazer took over the family watch-parts business at age 15 following the death of his father and then continued his foray into the professional world, investing in other businesses. Glazer owned or was a substantial shareholder of a diverse portfolio of international holdings and public companies, including: First Allied, Zapata Corporation, Houlihan's Restaurant Chain, Harley Davidson, Formica, Tonka, Specialty Equipment and Omega Protein.

A resident of Palm Beach, Florida, Glazer leaves behind his wife, Linda, six children and 14 grandchildren.

Mr. Glazer's long established estate succession plan has assured the Buccaneers will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come. Linda Glazer, along with their five sons and daughter, will continue to own and operate the team as they have throughout the family's ownership.

A private family funeral service will be held for Mr.Glazer. The opportunity for others to remember and celebrate Mr. Glazer's life will be announced at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to All Children's Hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, and Shriners Hospitals for Children - Tampa.

As well as seeing the transforming the team's on-field fortunes, particularly through the coaching hire of Tony Dungy as well as executing an unheard-of trade for Jon Gruden, Glazer and his family oversaw a physical transformation of the team, rebuilding One Buc Place from a dilapidated building to the high-tech, league-leading facility it is today, negotiating with the Tampa Sports Authority the construction of Raymond James Stadium, and most notably of all, replacing the old creamsicle uniforms (and Bucco Bruce) for the red and pewter.

We'll have more on this story as it develops. Our thoughts are with the Glazer family, and our gratitude goes out to Malcolm Glazer for taking this team we love from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs.

UPDATE: It should be no surprise, given that his sons have run the team for years, but Ian Rapoport confirms that the team will not be sold in the wake of Mr. Glazer's passing.

UPDATE: In mark of Malcolm Glazer's passing, the Bucs have lowered their flags to half-mast

You can read some of the reactions from current & former Buccaneer players and coaches on Mr. Glazer's passing here.
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