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Former Seahawks owner Ken Behring dead at 91

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Eight months after the death of Paul Allen, the man who preceded him in owning the Seattle Seahawks has also passed away.

Ken Behring, the billionaire businessman who made his name as a real estate developer, died on Tuesday.

“We are saddened by the loss of former Seahawks owner Ken Behring,” The Seahawks said in an official statement on Friday. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Behring’s family and friends.”

Behring bought the Seahawks from the Nordstrom family in 1988. He owned the team until 1997, when he sold the franchise to Paul Allen for $200 million.

Of course the story isn’t that simple for Behring. His legacy stands as one of the more villainous figures in Seattle sports history. He nearly moved the Seahawks to Southern California in 1996 and in fact just about had the team ready to play in the city of Anaheim.

“We’re bringing the players and coaches. We’re leaving our trophies, our legacy, behind,” Behring said in an interview with The Orange County Register. “I want this team to be the L.A. team, period. I want it to be named there. I want the colors to be chosen there.”

King County filed lawsuits against Behring and the NFL stonewalled this move by repeatedly fining Behring until he moved the team back to Seattle. After relenting in 1997, Allen became the Seahawks’ owner and oversaw what we’re still experiencing as the greatest run in franchise history.

In 1995, Behring founded the Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation, which “promotes the healthy social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for participation in sports and fitness activities.” Post-Seahawks, Behring founded the Wheelchair Foundation, which aimed to deliver wheelchairs to disabled people around the world.

Ken Behring was 91 years old.