CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Bengals announced that former team president and part owner John Sawyer passed away Thursday morning in Cincinnati at 90-years-old.
Sawyer was team president from 1968 to 1993 and had served as team vice president since 1994.
He joined Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown and his son Mike Brown in representing Cincinnati during the city's bid to gain the original American Football League franchise, which was awarded in 1967.
"John was a pioneer with the Bengals" said Mike Brown, the Bengals' current team president, in a statement. "The team wouldn't have come into existence were it not for his efforts. He was our original president and our primary owner for many years. We lost a critical business partner, as well as a close dear friend."
Sawyer was a former part owner of the Cincinnati Reds and was a leader in initiating construction of Riverfront Stadium.