DENVER – Former Denver Broncos owner Edgar F. Kaiser Jr., who oversaw the trade that brought Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway to Denver, has died, according to a charitable foundation Kaiser established.
The Kaiser Foundation of Vancouver, British Columbia, said in a press release that Kaiser died Wednesday. The cause of death wasn't immediately known, and calls to the foundation were not returned Saturday.
The Vancouver Sun reported Kaiser was in Toronto when he died.
Kaiser was a businessman and philanthropist who lived in Vancouver. The Kaiser Foundation advocates on substance-abuse issues.
He owned the Broncos when the team obtained Elway in a trade with Baltimore.
"He was responsible for executing the trade that made me a Bronco, and I am forever grateful for everything he did for me," Elway said in a statement released by the team in Foxborough, Mass., ahead of a Saturday playoff game against the New England Patriots.
"My thoughts are with the entire Kaiser family and his friends as they mourn their loss," said Elway, now the team's executive vice president for football operations.
Kaiser sold his 60.8 percent share of the Broncos to the current owner, Pat Bowlen, in 1984. Later, he lost a court battle over the right to buy back a stake in the team.
"On behalf of the Denver Broncos, I extend our sincere condolences to the family of Edgar Kaiser," Bowlen said in a statement released by the team.
"I have enormous appreciation for the opportunity Edgar gave me to become owner of this great franchise in 1984. Our deepest sympathies go out to Edgar's family during this difficult time."
Kaiser had served as CEO of Kaiser Resources Ltd. and as chairman and CEO of the Bank of British Columbia.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark offered condolences to Kaiser's family.
"In British Columbia we knew Edgar as a financier and executive in the resource sector, but many more both here at home and around the globe were encouraged and inspired by his compassion and generosity," Clark said.