Former Patriots owner Orthwein dies

Monday, August 18, 2008

ST. LOUIS -- James Busch Orthwein, the former New England Patriots owner who played a role in the Rams' move to St. Louis, has died. He was 84.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Orthwein died Friday at his home in Huntleigh after a long battle with cancer.

Orthwein bought the Patriots in 1992 and sold them to Robert Kraft two years later.

"I didn't know James Orthwein well, but I did share one of my life's most memorable moments with him and my family back on January 21, 1994. That was the day that I purchased the New England Patriots from Mr. Orthwein," Kraft said.

Orthwein played an important role in the Rams' move from Los Angeles to St. Louis by donating his 65-percent ownership share of the stadium rights to FANS Inc., the not-for-profit group that persuaded the team to move.

"Orthwein's mother, Clara Busch, was the granddaughter of Adolphus Busch, one of the founders of Anheuser-Busch.

-- AP

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