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Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Passes Away at 75

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19:  Team owner of the Denver Broncos Pat Bowlen celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger

Unfortunately, we've got some sad news to report out of Denver this morning, as the Broncos took to Twitter late Thursday night local time to announce Pat Bowlen has passed away.

The Denver owner was 75 years old at the time of his death. Known for being one of the most humble and sincere guys in the NFL, Bowlen had been battling Alzheimer's disease leading up to Thursday.

In an emotional message to Broncos fans everywhere, Bowlen's wife Annabel thanked everyone in Denver for the tireless support for her late husband.

“Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight," she said. “Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility. More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”

Bowlen, a Hall of Famer, was the majority owner of the Broncos for more than 35 years, officially joining the team in March of 1984. Under his leadership, Denver would go on to appear in seven Super Bowls, claiming three championships.