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Honoring an Icon – Tributes to Alex Spanos

FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

‪Alex Spanos lived the American Dream. His incredible story should inspire each and every one of us. As a son of immigrants, he rose from working in his fathers’ bakery to become a titan of real estate and business. But more importantly, he used his money and platform to give back to the world. He was a dear friend and I’ll miss him dearly. My thoughts are with the entire Spanos family.‬

ARIZONA CARDINALS PRESIDENT MICHAEL BIDWELL

Our hearts go out to the Spanos family and all of our colleagues at the Chargers on the passing of Alex Spanos. A truly self-made success, Alex Spanos is the embodiment of the American Dream and represents all that is good about the National Football League. We join all of those who were fortunate enough to know Mr. Spanos in mourning his loss.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY

Alex has been one of the crown jewels of our great state and country - his story is the American story. Having served our country in the military, as a successful entrepreneur, and as a philanthropic leader in our communities, Alex lived his life to make others around him better off. Most notably, Alex's leadership inspired countless Californians to get involved in sports that have bettered communities and shaped the character of future generations. Judy and I will miss Alex's friendship and send our prayers, thoughts, and deepest condolences to the Spanos family.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS TEAM STATEMENT

The Los Angeles Chargers and the National Football League have suffered a great loss in the passing of Alex Spanos. He was the embodiment of the American Dream, with extraordinary achievement as an NFL Owner, businessman and philanthropist. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OWNER GAYLE BENSON

On behalf of the New Orleans Saints, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Spanos family and the entire Los Angeles Chargers organization with the passing of Alex Spanos. Much like my husband Tom, who passed away in March, Alex’s tireless work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to charity led to great success. Both he and Tom entered the National Football League as owners around the same time and both made significant contributions to the growth of the league with their integrity, leadership and business expertise.

FORMER U.S. SENATOR AND GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA PETE WILSON

Alex was born poor but he was a born winner, a remarkable first-generation American success story---and an outspoken and truly grateful patriot. By word and by his example, Alex insisted that Americans born to freedom earn it and never take it for granted. He embodied the belief that determination and working harder produced winners in business, politics, sports---and whatever else engaged his interest.  He was a loving and devoted husband and father, loved his country, loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was a generous philanthropist, and a wonderful, loyal friend----but you didn’t want to sit next to him at a Chargers game if they weren’t winning!

I will miss him greatly.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS OWNER DAN SNYDER

We would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the Los Angeles Chargers on the passing of owner Alex Spanos. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Spanos family.

EMMY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST AND BOXING HALL OF FAME MEMBER JIM GRAY

Alex Spanos was a giant.

He was such a unique, honorable, and memorable man. He was the definition of hard work and dedication. He was totally committed to his incredible family, his work, his team, his friends, his faith, and this country. I was lucky to have him as a dear friend.

Nothing was ever given to Alex Spanos. Everything he achieved, he earned. Yet, he gave so much of himself, to others, for good, for future generations. He was so loyal, so dependable, and incredibly enthusiastic.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, once wrote, "When nature removes a great person, man explores the horizon for a successor. But none comes, and none will. For his class is extinguished with him."

Alex Spanos was in a class all of his own.

I will miss him, and never forget his countless acts of kindness and friendship. His spirit will live on in the Spanos family, and in the Chargers. May God rest his soul.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OWNER/CO-CHAIRMAN BRYAN GLAZER

Alex Spanos was a great businessman and NFL franchise owner, but it was his passion and dedication to his family and philanthropic causes that will continue to define his life and legacy. When we purchased the Buccaneers in the mid 1990s, Alex was a very active and influential member of the NFL ownership community, who took a great deal of pride in his Chargers franchise. We send our deepest condolences to the Chargers organization as well as the entire Spanos family.

CBS SPORTS AND CHARGERS PRESEASON PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER SPERO DEDES

RIP Mr. Spanos. Not only was he the beloved patriarch of an NFL franchise and a pillar of the Greek community in CA, he was the walking embodiment of the "American Dream." (The) son of Greek immigrants who truly started from the bottom and never forgot where he came from.

OAKLAND RAIDERS TEAM STATEMENT

The hearts of the Raider Nation are with the Spanos family following the passing of Alex Spanos. Mr. Spanos is an important part of the National Football League’s history and he leaves a strong legacy with the Chargers and beyond through his generous philanthropic efforts. The Raiders family mourns his loss and our condolences go out to the entire Spanos family.

FORMER CHARGERS HEAD COACH BOBBY ROSS

The thing I respected most about him was the dedication to family. He was a great family man and it is something I so strongly believe in as well. God bless, and my sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Spanos family.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS CHAIRMAN & CEO CLARK HUNT

Alex Spanos was the definition of an American success story. Ingenuity and a relentless work ethic made him an accomplished businessman, and his generosity and commitment to helping others created a lasting legacy. He was a fierce competitor in the AFC West and a dear friend of our family for four decades. Our prayers are with Dean, Susie and the entire Spanos family during this difficult time.

FORMER CHARGERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS

Heartfelt condolences to the Spanos family. (It’s) tough anytime you lose a dad or grandfather. I still remember Alex Spanos’ first words to me on my first day in San Diego. Not, “Hello.” But, “You boys better get it going.” My answer? “Yes sir.”

MAYOR OF STOCKTON MICHAEL TUBBS

I was saddened to hear the news this morning of the passing of Mr. Alex Spanos. From his early days working at his father’s bakery to becoming the owner of the Chargers, Mr. Spanos never forgot where he came from. Throughout all of his success, Mr. Spanos remained loyal to Stockton. His philanthropic support of our city has helped to shape our community for the better. Most recently, his family’s support of Stockton Scholar will give students the opportunity to attend college here at the University of the Pacific. We are grateful for the positive impact of Mr. Spanos and we are keeping his family and friends in our thoughts at this time.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHAIRMAN & CEO ROBERT KRAFT

I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Alex Spanos earlier today. Alex lived a long and full life, one in which we should all strive to emulate, for hard work, generosity and integrity were the pillars of his life and legacy. The Spanos family welcomed me and my family into the NFL back in 1994, and for more than two decades, they have been great friends.

I have such respect and admiration for all that Alex achieved during his life. He was a self-made businessman who truly lived the American dream and was always generous in his philanthropic giving, positively impacting the lives of so many others in his community. He never lost sight of the important things in life, like making time for his family.

I know how heartbreaking it was for the Spanos family when Faye, Alex's wife of 70 years, passed away in August. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Dean and the entire Spanos family in this time of grief, and we join all who mourn his loss.

LOS ANGELES RAMS TEAM STATEMENT

Alex Spanos' life exemplified the American dream, from his youngest days working in his father's restaurant to creating successful businesses, to becoming an NFL owner. He always remembered those along his path and dedicated his life to philanthropic causes throughout California and beyond. We are saddened by his passing and our thoughts are with Dean, the entire Spanos family and the Chargers organization.

DETROIT LIONS OWNER AND CHAIRMAN MARTHA FIRESTONE FORD

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Alex Spanos. On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions organization, I want to express our heartfelt sympathies to his children Dean, Michael, Alexis and Dea, the Spanos family and to the Chargers organization for your loss.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY

Rest in peace, Alex Spanos. The son of immigrants, an incredible American success story. My heart goes out to my friend Dean and the entire Spanos family.

STOCKTON KINGS TEAM STATEMENT

The Stockton Kings are deeply saddened by the loss of Stockton native, Alex Spanos. Leaving an everlasting impact on the city and people of Stockton, Alex will forever be remembered as a passionate and intelligent businessman with a kind and generous heart. Dedicating his platform to promoting education, health and the arts, Alex's generosity reached beyond California, spreading nationwide and inspiring all. The organization joins the city in mourning the loss of a man who encouraged others to believe in the power of hard work, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Spanos family during this time.

UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF ENERGY AND FORMER GOVERNOR OF TEXAS RICK PERRY

Alex Spanos' life was a life dedicated to service, his family, and the nation he loved. As the son of Greek immigrants, struggling to support his family, Alex started his first business by scraping together $800 and with hard work and perseverance he built an empire. His story is proof positive of the American dream, and with his good fortune he was able to touch many lives by giving back to the country and causes he believed in.

While his rags-to-riches story is impressive, his greatest success in life was as a husband, father and grandfather. Anita and I send the entire Spanos family our deepest sympathies during this difficult time.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA

Alex Spanos was a remarkable man. He was also a phenomenal entrepreneur, an extraordinary benefactor of the arts, and a civic leader without compare - in two different regions of California no less. Through it all, he was humble and generous. A truly great friend.

Whether turning a few dollars and a mobile sandwich shop into a multibillion-dollar business, taking the Chargers to the Super Bowl or learning the soft shoe with Bob Hope on USO trips for our troops, Alex lived life to the fullest and leaves our world far better than he found it.

FIVE-TIME EMMY AWARD WINNING NBC SPORTSCASTER AND PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME PETE ROZELLE RADIO & TELEVISION AWARD RECIPIENT AL MICHAELS

I'll always remember Alex Spanos as a man with a huge heart.

His was a full life and he leaves behind an unmatched legacy. His contributions to the National Football League were enormous.

He enriched the lives of so many people and will always be remembered as a kind, generous, caring man who provided inspiration to so many.

FORMER RAIDERS CHIEF EXECUTIVE AMY TRASK

I had the tremendous pleasure of sitting right across from Alex for decades at league meetings - he contributed greatly to the league and he sure made those meetings a whole lot more fun than they otherwise would have been.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS OWNERS MARK AND ZYGI WILF

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Alex Spanos. Alex was extremely passionate about the success of the NFL and had a significant impact on growing this league. While he was a successful businessman, he dedicated his life to philanthropic causes in California and beyond. Our condolences go out to the entire Spanos family and the Los Angeles Chargers organization.

FORMER NFL COMMISSIONER PAUL TAGLIABUE

I was blessed to have Alex Spanos as a leading NFL owner and strong supporter during my entire 17 years as NFL Commissioner. Alex was widely respected for his stellar personal values, his unique business accomplishments, and his trademark blunt advice. He kept a consistent focus on the best interests of the entire NFL, not just the interests of his beloved football team.

Many of my most cherished memories are sitting with Alex at Chargers games, at Hellenic or Greek Orthodox festivities, and at special family occasions in Stockton with beautiful Faye and their exceptional family. 

Alex was an irreplaceable voice during his active NFL years, urging all of us to remain grounded with the right priorities.

His extraordinary legacy will continue through Dean and the entire Spanos family.

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