Pat Bowlen Net Worth: How Much Money Does He Left Before His Death?

Pat Bowlen, an American lawyer and businessman was the principal shareholder and CEO of the NFL’s Denver Broncos. Pat Bowlen had a net worth of $1 billion at his death in 2019.

Denver Broncos ownership was the primary source of his wealth. The value of the Broncos skyrocketed in the years following his death. The squad was sold for $4.5 billion in June 2022. A total of $643 million was distributed among his seven children due to their 1/7 ownership stake in the team.

Early Life and Career

A native of Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, Pat Bowlen was born in 1944. Paul Bowlen, his father, had become a multi-millionaire in the oil sector. The University of Oklahoma awarded Bowlen both his BA and JD degrees.

Even though he hailed from a wealthy oil family, Pat made a fortune for himself by building a thriving law business in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Additionally, Bowlen served as an executive for his father’s company, Regent Drilling, and as a real estate developer.

Buying the Broncos

Pat bowlen networth

Bowlen, along with his brothers John and Bill and sister Marybeth, purchased a controlling stake in the NFL franchise in 1984 for the price of $78 million, when the Broncos were on the verge of bankruptcy under the ownership of their previous owner, Edgar Kaiser. After a year, the rest of his family decided to become involved and buy the full company together.

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John Elway, who would later become a legendary Denver Broncos player, was first selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 1983 NFL Draft.

Elway did not want to play for the Colts and even threatened to take an offer to play baseball or for the New York Mets rather than play for the Colts because he did not want to play for the Colts. Chris Hinton, an offensive lineman, was the player the Broncos received in return for John Elway when the Colts finally gave in and made the trade.

  • Source of Wealth
  • Sports Teams
  • Age
  • 77
  • Birth Place
  • Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
  • Full Name
  • Patrick Dennis Bowlen
  • Nationality
  • United States
  • Date of Birth
  • February 18, 1944
  • Occupation
  • Owner and CEO of Denver Broncos
  • Education
  • University of Oklahoma

Elway was the head coach of the Broncos throughout their run of success that saw them win two Super Bowls (1998 and 1999) and five AFC championships (1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, and 1998) under his direction. Pat Bowlen created the conditions that allowed the Denver Broncos to experience a revival in their fan base and begin turning a profit, both of which were made possible due to Bowlen.

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As the owner of the Denver Broncos, he was instrumental in the team’s success in the late 1990s, during which it won the Super Bowl in consecutive years for the first time. However, the team has come out on the losing end in recent games. Because of the team’s poor performance in the league, Mr. Bowlen has decided to part ways with the illustrious coach Mike Shanahan.

John Elway Ownership Offer

pat bowlen net worth

A two-part deal was offered to Elway by Bowlen in 1998 when Elway’s career was at a conclusion.

1) For $15 million, Bowlen would sell John a ten percent investment in the Broncos, giving John total ownership of one hundred percent.

Part 2) If John were to agree to forego the deferred income he had been promised, he would be awarded an additional 10 percent equity stake in the team. John had a deferred salary payment obligation of $21 million at that time.


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If we look at it another way, John would own 20 percent of the Broncos if he invested $15 million of his own money and gave up $21 million in future revenues in exchange for ownership of the team. John did not accept our offer and instead requested the money upfront.

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He subsequently made the tragic decision to invest approximately $15 million in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, and as a result, he lost $7 million very quickly. If John had accepted the offer, the value of his 20 percent ownership in the company today would be $540 million. As of 2019, it is believed that the Broncos are worth $2.7 billion.

Death and Pat Bowlen Trust

The Bowlen Trust became the sole owner of the Denver Broncos upon his passing in June of this year. His seven children shared the trust’s proceeds equally among themselves. For the more significant part of two years, the heirs were unable to agree on simple team choices, according to reports. In the end, the squad was decided to be sold.

The Bowlen Trust announced on June 6, 2022, that it had agreed with Walmart’s heir Rob Walton to sell the Broncos for $4.5 billion. It was the most expensive team sale ever at the time of the transaction.

Each of Bowlen’s seven successors will receive $643 million, pre-tax, at that amount.

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