ST. LOUIS (AP) -James Busch Orthwein, the former New England Patriots owner who played a role in the Rams move to St. Louis, has died. He was 84.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Orthwein died Friday at his home in Huntleigh after a long battle with cancer.
Orthwein bought the Patriots in 1992 and sold them to Robert Kraft two years later.
``I didn't know James Orthwein well, but I did share one of my life's most memorable moments with him and my family back on January 21, 1994. That was the day that I purchased the New England Patriots from Mr. Orthwein,'' Kraft said.
``I have a great black-and-white photo of the two of us sitting at a table that day with my entire family standing behind us. It is a day that I will never forget and a memory that I will always cherish. On behalf of my family, I would like to extend sympathies to the Orthwein family.''
Orthwein played an important role in the Rams' move from Los Angeles to St. Louis by donating his 65-percent ownership share of the stadium rights to FANS Inc., the nonprofit group that persuaded the team to move.
``Jim was a private man who thrived as a fisherman, outdoorsman and painter,'' family friend Walter Metcalfe said. ``Yet he understood business and he had an enormous talent to see what was important and then connect his product, be it candy or cola or beer or the then-broken and ridiculed Patriot franchise, to the public.''
Orthwein's mother, Clara Busch, was the granddaughter of Adolphus Busch, one of the founders of Anheuser-Busch. Orthwein was a longtime member of the brewery's board.
Survivors include wife Loris, daughters Katherine Snowden and Romaine Orthwein and sons Percy and James Orthwein.
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