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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis dies

October 8, 2011 |  8:15 am


Al Davis, the controversial longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders, has died, according to the team’s website.

The website is reporting that Davis, 82, passed away Saturday. A full statement is expected later in the day. 

Davis started as the team's head coach and general manager and rose to become its principal owner.

PHOTOS: Al Davis | 1929-2011

[Updated at: 8:26 a.m.: The death of Davis, whose “Just win, baby!” motto served him equally well on stadium sidelines and in legendary court battles, was announced by the Raiders on the team's website.

He is perhaps best remembered in Los Angeles as the sweatsuit-clad rebel with slicked-back hair and a secretive nature who successfully sued to relocate his team from Oakland to L.A. in 1982, then abruptly moved it back to Oakland in 1995.

But years earlier, he briefly served as commissioner of the American Football League and, using shrewd tactics, helped force an NFL-AFL merger that set the stage for the richest and most influential league in the history of professional sports.

Davis was born in Brockton, Mass., on July 4, 1929, to Rose Kirschenbaum Davis and Louis Davis, who made a small fortune in the garment industry. At Syracuse University, Davis earned a degree in English and developed a passion for literature and jazz, and a fascination with military history.

In 1950, after he finished college, the 21-year-old Davis passed on a chance to go into the family business and instead talked his way into a job as line coach at Long Island's Adelphi College. Two years later, Davis was drafted into the U.S. Army. He took over as the head coach of a military football team at Fort Belvoir, Va., that would lose only two games during his two-year tenure.]

Read The Times' full obituary on Al Davis here.


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Plaschke: Hey Raiders, don't even think about moving back (Aug. 9, 2011)

 -- Sam Quinones and Sam Farmer


Photo: Al Davis in 1996. Credit: Susan Ragan / Associated Press