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During his 95 years, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson went from fan to ‘‘Foolish Club’’ member to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, enjoying every step along the way.
The NFL lost the person regarded as the league’s ‘‘conscience’’ on Tuesday, when Wilson died at his home around 1:40 p.m. Bills president Russ Brandon announced Wilson’s death at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla.
His death resonated among the owners. Wilson played an integral role in establishing the modern game, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
In 1959, Wilson founded the Bills in helping establish the upstart American Football League, whose owners were dubbed ‘‘The Foolish Club’’ for having the chutzpah to challenge the NFL.