SBD/24/Sports Industrialists

FORMER PATRIOTS OWNER BILLY SULLIVAN DIES AT 82

          Patriots Founder BILLY SULLIVAN died yesterday in FL, of
     cancer at the age of 82.  Sullivan was Sports Publicity Dir
     at his alma mater, BC, in the '30s; PR Dir of the NL Boston
     Braves; and leading founder of the Patriots franchise that
     joined the AFL in '59.  The Sullivan family sold the Patriots
     in '88.  In Boston, Marvin Pave writes that Sullivan
     "presided over the Patriots' affairs with an undeniable
     flair, such as naming the team's new home field in Foxborough
     after himself and his family" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/24). 
     Columnist Dan Shaughnessy calls Sullivan "one of the most
     important sports and charity figures in the history of our
     region" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/24).  In Providence, Jim Donaldson:
     "Bringing the Patriots to New England was not Sullivan's
     greatest sporting accomplishment.  It was keeping them here"
     (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 2/24).  Bill Parrillo: "His detractors
     considered him something of a buffoon, at times, and a
     meddler ... but there can be no questioning his loyalty to
     the region" (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 2/24).  In N.Y., Frank Litsky
     writes that to some, Sullivan "will be remembered not for his
     role in the founding of the [AFL] ... but for his acrimonious
     lawsuit" against the NFL in the '90s (N.Y. TIMES, 2/24). 

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