Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 85, the team confirmed in a news release.
Glazer, who was also the primary owner of British soccer powerhouse Manchester United, purchased the Buccaneers in 1995 from the estate of Hugh Culverhouse and helped oversee the most successful period in the history of the previously floundering franchise.
After failing to reach the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons, the Buccaneers earned seven postseason berths over an 11-year span from 1997-2007 and captured their first and only NFL championship during the 2002 campaign, which culminated with Tampa Bay's 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
The top five winningest seasons in Bucs history all have come during Glazer's ownership.
Glazer also served on the NFL's finance committee and was instrumental in the city of Tampa winning bids to host Super Bowls XXXV (2001) and XLIII (2009).
"Malcolm Glazer was the guiding force behind the building of a Super Bowl- champion organization," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "His dedication to the community was evident in all he did, including his leadership in bringing Super Bowls to Tampa Bay."
Glazer delved into the soccer business with his acquisition of Manchester United in 2005. The club has won five Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League crown since its takeover from the Glazer family.
The Rochester, N.Y. native also made sizeable philanthropic contributions to the Tampa community. His Glazer Family Foundation has donated millions to charitable and educational causes since its inception in 1999 and helped construct the Glazer Children's Museum in 2010.
"Malcolm's commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy," said Goodell. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, their six children and the entire Glazer family."
Glazer is also survived by 14 grandchildren in addition to his wife and children. The Glazer family will continue to own the Buccaneers.