Texas billionaire Billy Joe 'Red' McCombs, the former owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and NBA's San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets, as well as the co-founder of iHeartMedia, died Sunday (February 19) at the age of 95, his family announced in a statement obtained by the Associated Press on Monday (February 20).
“The entire McCombs family is heartbroken to announce that our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Red McCombs passed away Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023,” according to the statement that called McCombs “a Texas icon,” the statement read. “Red was a visionary entrepreneur who touched many lives and impacted our community in immeasurable ways,” the statement said. “But to us he was always, first and foremost, ‘Dad’ or ‘Poppop.’”
The McCombs Enterprises website credits the billionaire for owning more than 400 businesses, which included the Spurs, Nuggets and Vikings, as well as serving as the founder of Red McCombs Automotive and Clear Channel Communications, which later became iHeartCommunications, Inc. The billionaire was preceded in death by his wife, Charline McCombs, who passed in 2019.
"The Minnesota Vikings are saddened by the passing of former team owner Red McCombs," the team said in a statement shared on its official Twitter account. "Red embodied his famous 'Purple Pride' phrase and remained a staunch Vikings fan after passing the torch to the Wilf family in 2005. While Red had a clear passion for sports, it was evident what he loved the most were his children and grandchildren.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCombs family during this difficult time. We will be forever grateful for Red and Charline's contributions to the Vikings."