Leon Hess Biography

Leon Hess

Age: 85

owner of the New York Jets whose oil fortune made him one of the wealthiest owners in professional sports; his wish to see his team return to the Super Bowl for the first time since their 1969 title fell one game short in 1998; in March of 1963, a group including Hess and three partners purchased the American Football League's Jets, then known as the New York Titans, out of bankruptcy for $1million; he eventually bought out his partners in 1977; angered the league when he moved the team from Shea Stadium to the Meadowlands in New Jersey for the 1984 season; saw the team through several recent coaching changes, including the hiring of Bill Parcells after the 1996-97 season; an oilman since the Depression, Hess turned a New Jersey refining company into the multi-billion dollar Amerada Hess Corp.; he resigned as chairman and CEO in 1995. Hess died of complications from blood disease.

Died: New York City, May 7, 1999

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