Milwaukee Bucks’ former owner Jim Fitzgerald passes away
Jim Fitzgerald, the man who used to own the Milwaukee Bucks and later the Golden State Warrior, passed away on Monday. Jim Fitzgerald owned the Milwaukee Bucks during the early 1980s, an era during which the franchise enjoyed a lot of success.
Soon after Jim Fitzgerald’s death, the Milwaukee Bucks came out with a special news report on its former owner. According to the report, Jim Fitzgerald died on Monday morning. The cause of death has not been made public yet.
Schneider Apfel Schneider & Schneider funeral home later confirmed that Jim Fitzgerald had died in his hometown, Janesville.
“Jim Fitzgerald was the right man at the right time for the Bucks franchise,” said John Steinmiller, the vice president of business operations for the Milwaukee Bucks “He will be dearly missed by the entire Bucks family.”
Jim Fitzgerald didn’t acquire the Milwaukee Bucks overnight. In 1973, Jim Fitzgerald joined the Milwaukee Bucks’ board of directors. By 1976, Jim Fitzgerald had become the president of the club and the chairman of the board.
Jim Fitzgerald also played a key role in hiring the Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson and planning to capture division titles from 1979-1980 to 1985-1986. In 1985, Jim Fitzgerald decided to sell the Milwaukee Bucks to its current owner Herb Kohl.
Jim Fitzgerald passion for football refused to die. Therefore, Jim Fitzgerald and his business team decided to buy the Golden State Warriors. In 1995, Jim Fitzgerald and a close partner sold the majority of the ownership to the club.
Jim Fitzgerald life story is quite inspiring. Jim Fitzgerald used to be a Navy veteran, who served during the Korean conflict. Eventually, Jim Fitzgerald retired from the Navy and decided to open several businesses in his hometown, Janesville.
“Jim was a great man and he taught us more than just basketball,” former Milwaukee Buicks player Junior Bridgeman.
According to Junior Bridgeman, a reunion was formed to meet Jim Fitzgerald last year. Junior Bridgeman further expressed that players usually do this when they have “affinity” for another personality.
It was a family, and today we lost a member of that family,” Junior Bridgeman said.
Jim Fitzgerald leaves behind a wife and six children. Jim Fitzgerald also has 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The funeral services for Jim Fitzgerald will be held on Thursday morning at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Janesville. The burial will take place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.