PHILADELPHIA - Ed Snider, the Philadelphia Flyers founder whose "Broad Street Bullies" became the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 83.
His family issued a statement that said Snider "was loved and admired for his big heart, generosity of spirit, and dedication to his family."
Snider’s children issued the statement Monday morning via the Flyers website.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that our father, Ed Snider has died after a two year battle with cancer. He was 83.
Our Dad was loved and admired for his big heart, generosity of spirit, and dedication to his family. Despite his considerable business achievements and public profile, he was first and foremost a family man. He never missed a birthday, important family event or the opportunity to offer encouragement. We turned first to him for advice in our personal and professional lives. We grew up tagging behind him in arenas, stadiums and locker rooms; and his players, management and team personnel were our extended family. He treated his employees with respect regardless of rank or position, and the man they called “Mr. Snider” always would have preferred simply to be called “Ed.”
From him we learned the importance of helping others and the value of supporting our community and beyond. He was a man with deep convictions and never hesitated to promote causes in which he believed. His children and grandchildren will continue his philanthropic mission for years to come through the work of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (Snider
Hockey) and the Snider Foundation. Revered in his adopted city of Philadelphia, we too were captive in the orbit of his brilliant light and magnetic personality.
During his lifetime, he cultivated a cherished circle of friends whom he loved dearly--and who loved him back--whether in Washington, DC, Monmouth, Maine, Philadelphia or Montecito,
California. Unrivaled, however, was his love for the Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Club, the team he created 50 years ago and to which he remained fiercely devoted through his final days. With every game during the push to make the playoffs this spring we hoped he would survive to see the Flyers win just one more game. He gave the last ounce of his indomitable energy and strength to live through this hockey season, but now the Flyers must win without him.
He fought his last years, months and days with courage and grace and recounted his love for many including his Flyers family and fans. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community, his friends and all those who were fortunate to have been touched by him in some way, large or small.”
Snider was arguably the most influential executive in Philadelphia sports history. He was chairman of the 76ers, was once a part-owner of the Eagles and had a hand in founding both Comcast's local sports channel and the city's largest sport-talk radio station.
Upon hearing that the National Hockey League was going to expand from its original six teams to 12, Snider petitioned the league and was awarded an expansion club in 1966.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.