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Gayle Benson becomes Saints, Pelicans owner

Mike Florio looks back at the life of the late Tom Benson, the 32-year owner of the New Orleans Saints and one of the "key figures in the modern history of the NFL."

The passing of Saints owner Tom Benson raises no questions whatsoever regarding the two sports teams he owned.

Gayle Benson becomes the owner of the NFL’s Saints and the NBA’s Pelicans. Those issues were resolved by Mr. Benson’s will, and litigation pursued by family members who had been omitted from ownership interest in either teams ended months ago.

Also, both the NFL and the NBA already have approved Mrs. Benson as the eventual owner of the franchises.

Mr. Benson purchased the Saints in 1985, and he purchased the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2012.

Last year, the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was dedicated at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Mr. Benson donated $10 million to the stadium renovation project and another $1 million toward the construction of a planned retirement facility at the Hall of Fame’s grounds for retired NFL players.