According to the Oakland Raiders, principle owner Al Davis has passed away at the age of 82 years old.
From 1960 to 1962, Davis was the offensive ends coach for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers until Davis was hired as the team's head coach and general manager, implementing a vertical passing game that was a modification for Sid Gillman's core that would later become the West Coast Offense. Davis was eventually named the American Football League's Commissioner. Davis, against the upcoming AFL/NFL merger, resigned his position and bought 10% of the the Raiders as one of three general partners with Wayne Valley and Ed McGah.
In 1972, while managing general partner Valley was attending the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Davis drafted a revised partnership agreement that made him the new managing general partner, with near-absolute control over team operations. McGah signed the agreement. Since two of the team's three general partners had voted in favor of the agreement, it was binding under partnership law of the time. Valley sued to overturn the agreement once he returned to the country, but was unsuccessful. Valley sold his interest in 1976, and no other partners have had any role in running the club since. This was despite the fact that Davis did not acquire a majority interest in the Raiders until 2005, when he bought the shares held by McGah's family.
From the Raiders website:
In these memorable 48 years, the Raiders have had 28 winning seasons, including 16 in a row from 1965 through the 1980 World Championship season. In 34 of those seasons, the Raiders earned a record of .500 or better.
Al Davis may be viewed as a comic level villain toward the end of his life, but much of what he did during the NFL's formative years are what made the NFL what it is today.