Patrick Dennis Bowlen is born to Paul and Arvella Bowlen on Feb. 18, 1944, in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
He attends the University of Oklahoma, where he earns business and law degrees.
After graduation, he opens a law practice in Edmonton, Alberta, where his father has an oil business. He makes his fortune in real estate, as well as oil, gas and other natural resources.
He has seven children: Amie and Beth from his first marriage; Patrick, John, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna from his second marriage.
Bowlen’s mother dies Dec. 20, 2006, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
MARCH 23, 1984
Bowlen is introduced as Broncos owner after purchasing the team from financially troubled Edgar Kaiser for $78 million; the two met at church. “I am here to win,” Bowlen says.
One of Bowlen’s first steps is creating the Ring of Fame, honoring former Broncos greats.
The Broncos grow in popularity under Bowlen’s leadership and sell out every game during his ownership tenure.
OCT. 28, 1984
Broncos coach Dan Reeves presents Bowlen with a game ball for his father, Paul, after Denver defeats the Raiders in overtime. Pat Bowlen learned of his dad’s death moments earlier.
JAN. 11, 1987
Bowlen gains notoriety for donning a fur coat on the sideline during John Elway’s classic “The Drive,” including multiple cameos on NFL Films’ replay of the game. It is the last time anyone remembers him in the coat, the wearing of which he admitted was a mistake.
JAN. 25, 1987
Broncos reach their second Super Bowl, the first during Bowlen’s tenure. They lose 39-20 to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI.
JAN. 31, 1988
After taking a 10-0 first-quarter lead, the Broncos are thrashed 42-10 by the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII.
JAN. 28, 1990
In the biggest Super Bowl rout ever, the Broncos are crushed 55-10 by the San Francisco 49ers.
MARCH 5, 1990
The Broncos move into the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Centre, their 90,000-foot Dove Valley headquarters. (In 2014, the facility undergoes a $35 million expansion and renovation.)
DEC. 28, 1992
Bowlen fires Reeves after the team misses the playoffs for the second time in three years amid growing friction between Reeves and Elway, which began in 1990. Wade Phillips is hired to replace Reeves as head coach and goes 16-16 with one playoff loss.
The Denver Broncos Charities is created, which Bowlen chairs.
Bowlen brings back former Broncos assistant coach Mike Shanahan to take over as head coach, replacing Phillips. (Shanahan would go on to lead the team to its first two Super Bowl trophies and post a 138-86 record, the best in franchise history.)
JAN. 25, 1998
The team claims its first Super Bowl win in an upset over the defending champion Green Bay Packers, leading to Bowlen’s famous “This one’s for John!” speech as he hands the Lombardi Trophy to the franchise’s greatest player. The victory ends the NFC’s 13-year run of dominance.
JAN. 31, 1999
The Broncos win their second straight Super Bowl by smashing the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, in Elway’s final game. The victory marks the Broncos’ NFL record of seven postseason victories over a two-year period.
In a move spearheaded by Bowlen’s campaigning and the team’s success, the Broncos open Invesco Field at Mile High. Bowlen contributes $150 million in funding for the new stadium, which replaced Mile High Stadium.
Bowlen begins his run as co-chair of the NFL management council executive committee, an assignment that lasted until 2011. In a separate role as the head of the NFL’s broadcast committee, he is credited with securing the league’s then-record $18 billion TV deal.
DEC. 30, 2008
Bowlen fires Shanahan, his close friend, with three years remaining on the coach’s contract and makes a bold move to bring in unproven Josh McDaniels. McDaniels fails miserably and is fired with four games remaining in his second season, leading Bowlen to talk with Elway about coming back to the organization and overseeing the team’s football operations.
JAN. 5, 2011
Bowlen hires Elway to run the front office. Elway hires John Fox as coach, and the team makes four consecutive playoff appearances under Fox.
MARCH 19, 2012
Bowlen opens his checkbook as Elway lures future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning to the Broncos in arguably the league’s greatest free-agent signing ever.
JAN. 19, 2014
The Broncos reach their eighth AFC championship game under Bowlen’s leadership, more than all other AFC West teams combined since 1984, and they whip the New England Patriots 26-16 at home.
FEB. 2, 2014
The Seahawks smash the Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII. While finishing short of their goal, the Broncos win their 11th division title under Bowlen.
JULY 22, 2014
Bowlen, whose health had been failing in recent years, turns control of the team over to his family’s trust so he can continue his battle against Alzheimer’s disease. CEO Joe Ellis oversees the trust and the club’s business operations.
NOV. 2, 2015
With members from the Super Bowl XXXII team on hand, Bowlen is inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame at halftime of Denver’s “Sunday Night Football” win over Green Bay. He does not attend the ceremony.
JAN. 3, 2016
In a thrilling regular-season finale, the Broncos clinch the AFC West and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a 27-20 victory over division rival San Diego, with Manning coming in in relief in the second half for Brock Osweiler.
JAN. 24, 2016
Led by its defense, the Broncos hold off quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots, 20-18, to win the AFC Championship and advance to their seventh Super Bowl.
FEB. 7, 2016
Denver humbles Carolina, 24-10, in the Super Bowl, pulling off a stunning upset behind an incredible defensive performance led by linebacker Von Miller. It is the last game of Manning’s career.
Source: Denver Broncos
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