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).