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Chargers owner, Cal Poly alum Alex Spanos dies at 95

Posted at 9:47 AM, Oct 09, 2018

(AP/KSBY News) – Alex Spanos, a Cal Poly alum who used his fortune from construction and real estate to buy the Chargers in 1984, has died. He was 95.

The team announced in 2008 that Spanos was suffering from dementia. He eventually stopped attending games.

The son of Greek immigrants, Spanos was a self-made millionaire. He bought controlling interest in the team for approximately $50 million from Gene Klein in 1984. He eventually bought all but the 3 percent that was held by George Pernicano.

Although Alex Spanos continued to live in Stockton after purchasing the Chargers, his oldest son, Dean, moved to San Diego to help run the team.

It was Dean Spanos who decided to move the Chargers from San Diego, their home of 56 years, to Los Angeles in 2017.

Cal Poly released the following statement Tuesday:

“Cal Poly’s campus community is sad today to learn of the passing of alumnus and longtime university supporter Alex Spanos.

Alex’s relationship with our university began during his time as a student in our aerospace engineering program in 1941-42. Alex was a member of the men’s swimming team, band and university singer’s club during his time on campus.

From that point on, Alex, and his wife, Faye, made significant contributions to our university and stayed closely connected with our campus community.

Alex’s $8 million donation in 2004 to renovate the university’s football stadium is one of the most significant gifts in the history of Cal Poly Athletics. After being rededicated in his honor in 2006, the stadium now bears his name and hosts many of Cal Poly’s most high-profile annual events, including football and soccer games, spring commencement ceremonies, and rodeo.

Spanoand his wife, Faye, also donated $1.5 million to the university in 2003 to help fund the remodel of the Cal Poly Theatre — now named the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre — a significant part of the Performing Arts Center complex on campus.

Alex was named an honored alumnus of Cal Poly in 1974. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004, when he was a speaker at commencement. As well, he was inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Cal Poly is thankful for its decades-long relationship with Alex and Faye (who passed away in August), and our thoughts are with their children — Dea, Dean, Michael, and Alexis — and the rest of the Spanos family at this time.”

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