Former Bucks owner Fitzgerald dies

Former Milwaukee Bucks owner Jim Fitzgerald died Monday. He was 86 years old.

Fitzgerald was a member of the Bucks' board of directors in 1973. The Janesville native went on to become president and chairman of the board in 1976, holding that post until the spring of 1985 when he sold the team to current owner Herb Kohl.

Fitzgerald presided over a successful era of Bucks basketball that included seven consecutive division titles from 1979-80 through 1985-86. He also hired Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson in 1976.

"Jim Fitzgerald was the right man at the right time for the Bucks franchise," Bucks vice president of business operations John Steinmiller said. "He served on the Board of Directors for a short time, and then stepped up to establish a family culture within the organization that still exists today. He was a Wisconsin guy with good business instincts and a competitive spirit who always provided hope. He will be dearly missed by the entire Bucks family."