Tom Benson, owner of Saints, Pelicans and Loyola A'48, dead at 90

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Tom Benson, shown with wife Gayle, was a familiar figure at Saints games. He was blessed with 90 years of life! Benson died at Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson, La., where he was first hospitalized on February 16 for the flu.

After weeks of hospitalization with a case of the flu New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson's battle has finally ended. In response, the Saints stated that ownership of that team and the Pelicans was "not in flux but rather in solid standing", adding, "Gayle Benson is the owner".

Terms of the settlement, which had been in the works since the previous year, were not disclosed.

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Benson later purchased the Pelicans, at the time known as the New Orleans Hornets, in 2012 and rebranded them the next season as the Pelicans. The team has made one playoff appearance since Benson became owner, and is in position for a second this season. The team has been able to make the playoffs only once over that span, but are looking geared to make the postseason again this season.

"Tom Benson's contributions to New Orleans and the National Football League were legendary", NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

When Benson purchased the Saints, there were rumors of the team being sold to investors that would relocate the franchise, but he was able to keep the team in New Orleans. The franchise won its lone only Super Bowl championship under his ownership in 2009. He served as the chairman of the League's Finance Committee for many years, was a key advisor to my predecessors, and was someone whom I frequently turned to since becoming commissioner.

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"Tom loved New Orleans, where he was a generous and caring philanthropist".

He was born on July 12, 1927 in the 7th Ward of New Orleans.

The Times-Picayune published a story Thursday declaring that ownership of the teams was "in flux" in the wake of Benson's death, because the "long-running family fight" could "reignite in the settling of his estate in court in New Orleans".

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Tom and Gayle Benson have made millions of dollars in charitable donations; in the football world, they gave $7.5 million toward the construction of Tulane's Yulman Stadium; the field at the stadium is named after Benson.