Thoughts and reactions on Lamar Hunt

Updated: December 15, 2006, 1:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Reaction to the death of Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt Wednesday night at the age of 74:

"I would like so much for the grandchildren to know what a truly kind and good man their grandfather was. He loved the Lord in his very quiet way and had such integrity and strength of character in all the things he has done. I hope that they will carry those memories of him with them because those qualities are what has made him such a beloved person."

"He wanted people to love the sports like he did. He loved sports so much, he was so passionate about them and he wanted others to share the joy."
-- Norma Hunt, Lamar Hunt's wife.

"He saw things and understood things that would be good for the game many, many years ahead of other people."
-- Clark Hunt, his son.

"He was a visionary, he was clever, he was creative, he was stubborn, he was optimistic, he was stubbornly optimistic, he looked at things for the long haul."
-- Sharron Hunt Munson, his daughter.

"It was more about providing people with opportunities, letting people display their talents and gifts and sports is really where that manifested itself."
-- Lamar Hunt Jr., his son.

"He didn't miss anything. If it came to counting parking spots in parking lots, he was out there doing it all himself."
-- Dan Hunt, his son.

"I accused him of being in the entertainment business, but to him it was sports and it was a game. His high school friends that named him 'games' correctly named him."
-- William Herbert Hunt, his brother.

"To know him you loved him. Even if you were on the opposite side, you loved him."
-- Caroline Rose Hunt, his sister.

"His vision transformed pro football and helped turn a regional sport into a national passion. Lamar created a model franchise in the Kansas City Chiefs, but he was always equally devoted to the best interests of the league and the game."
-- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"Lamar Hunt's a pioneer and a pillar of the National Football League. ... There aren't enough words to accurately describe who Lamar Hunt was and what he has meant to the NFL and to Kansas City. For the Chiefs, he was our Founder. ... To Kansas City, he's more than just the owner of a professional franchise. He's committed himself there with other businesses such as Hunt Midwest Enterprises, creating thousands of jobs throughout the Kansas City community. He's been one of the most philanthropic people I've ever been involved with."
-- Carl Peterson, president, Kansas City Chiefs.

"He lived his whole life to make a difference, not just to make a living. We can learn something from that. He's very humble, maybe the most humble I've ever been around. In today's world, that's something that you marvel at. You talk about a man who's profession has been football and he has been a great sportsman. Bigger than that, he's always made decisions for this football organization where the league came first. If it was good for the league, Lamar Hunt was always first in line."
-- Herm Edwards, head coach, Kansas City Chiefs.

"All the times that Lamar and I were together in 47 years there was never one day that I felt that I was working for Lamar. He always made me feel I was working with him."
-- Jack Steadman, vice chairman of the board, Kansas City Chiefs.

"He was one of the most considerate, one of the most thoughtful and one of the most visionary people you could ever deal with."
-- Paul Tagliabue, NFL commissioner, 1989-2006.

"When you walked in a room and you saw him and saw he was a part of something, you knew it was something that was branded with integrity and solid and something you could stand behind."
-- Robert Kraft, owner, New England Patriots.

"He was a founder. He was the energy, really, that put together half of the league, and then he was the key person in merging the two leagues together. You'd be hard-pressed to find anybody that's made a bigger contribution [to the NFL] than Lamar Hunt."
-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

"He was not one to flaunt it, he just did it."
-- K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr., founder and owner, Tennessee Titans.

"I have much admiration for his love of professional football and, of course, the American Football League, which he started. We were rivals, we were friends, we were competitors. Lamar Hunt is a legend and will be sorely missed as he has been a part of our lives for the past five decades."
-- Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

"Lamar Hunt had a dream and, the thing is, we had dreams, too. Just imagine the number of people that he has touched because he said, 'I'm going after this dream.'"
-- Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson.

"Lamar Hunt went to the NFL and he said, 'I want to buy a NFL team,' or 'I want to put up money to create a team,' and they said, 'no.' That just tickles me to death. [Lamar] said, 'Well, if you don't want to give me a team, I'll just go start my own league.'"
-- Hall of Fame WR Don Maynard.

"He was the man who invented the American Football League and coined the term Super Bowl, but when Lamar was talking about soccer there was that glint in his eye. It's just something very special and when the books are written, the book on American soccer is going to have chapters on Lamar Hunt and what he did both in the past and the present for the game here."
-- Don Garber, Major League Soccer commissioner.

"He was so instrumental in making tennis what it is today. He just knew the game hadn't been tapped in bringing sponsors in and creating it as a business and not just a game."
-- Rod Laver, tennis champion.

"If Lamar had done for sports in Great Britain what he has done for them here he would have been knighted by the queen."
-- Kenny Cooper, former Dallas Tornados goalie, North American Soccer League.

"I think people need to be aware of what he brought to the sport of tennis: the passion he brought, the love of the game. He was someone who really gave these players an opportunity to go out and make a great living. He cared about the sport. I was lucky that I came at the time where it was just starting to explode and there were a lot of great personalities in the sport yet, at the same time, you had at least a sense of appreciation for what a man like Lamar Hunt was laying on the line."
-- John McEnroe, tennis champion.

"You sort of had this picture of this extremely wealthy Texan who was going to come on big and strong and be really overbearing, but Lamar was just exactly the opposite."
-- John Newcombe, tennis champion.

"I am extremely saddened by the loss of Lamar Hunt, one of the founding fathers of our Chicago Bulls family and a long-time friend. His influence on the world of sport cannot be duplicated and his legacy will be eternal."
-- Chicago Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

"There was nobody like him. There was nobody like him."
-- Marty Schottenheimer, Kansas City Chiefs head coach, 1989-98; Current San Diego Chargers head coach.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.