Ralph Cookerly Wilson, Jr (Ralph Cookerly Wilson)

Ralph Cookerly Wilson, Jr

Hall of Fame Sports Team Owner. From 1960 until his death, he was the proprietor of the Buffalo Bills. Along with Lamar Hunt and other businessmen, Wilson formed what was nicknamed “The Foolish Club”. The group initiated the American Football League in 1960 which went on to merge with the National Football League in 1970, thus establishing the conference structure which is known to date. Raised in Detroit, Wilson developed a fondness for the sport after seeing his first Lions’ game in 1934. He studied Law at the University of Michigan and during World War II, he served as a minesweeper with the United States Navy. Following his return home, he ran his father’s insurance business, prior to making a name for himself in the business world. During his tenure as owner of the Bills, the franchise captured two AFL championships (1964 and 1965) and earned four consecutive Super Bowl appearances (XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII with Marv Levy at the helm). Among the many Hall of Fame players include O.J. Simpson, Joe DeLamielleure, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed. For his significant contributions to the sport, Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. (bio by: C.S.)  Family links:  Parents:  Ralph C. Wilson (1883 – 1970)  Edith Cole Wilson (1890 – 1944)


  • October, 17, 1918
  • USA


  • March, 03, 2014
  • USA


  • Elmwood Cemetery
  • Michigan
  • USA

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