FORMER PATRIOTS OWNER BILLY SULLIVAN DIES AT 82
Published February 24, 1998
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).