Who Owns the Philadelphia Eagles?
The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, dating back to 1933. And while the team had several championships before the AFL-NFL merger, the Eagles didn’t win their first Super Bowl until 2017. Now, five seasons later, Philly is back in the Big Game and looking to lift its second Lombardi Trophy. Much of this recent success can be attributed to the team’s owner, who bought the team in 1994. So, who is the Eagles owner?
Who is the Eagles owner?
The owner of the Philadelphia Eagles is Jeffrey Lurie.
Lurie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, as a huge sports fan. He rooted for all the local teams, including the New England Patriots, which his family had season tickets to since the franchise’s inception in 1960.
After college, Lurie went to work for his grandfather Philip Smith’s company, General Cinema Corporation. The company was once one of the largest drive-in movie theater owners in the country, but by the 1980s became a nationwide conglomerate with hands in all different businesses.
Lurie worked with production companies in Hollywood on the movie-buying end of General Cinema before branching off and starting his own movie, television show, and commercial production company, Chestnut Hill Productions.
His work as a movie producer has won him three Oscars. In 2011, Inside Job won Best Documentary. In 2013 Inocente took home Best Documentary Short Film, and in 2022, Summer of Soul won Best Documentary Feature. More importantly, for Lurie, though, all this — along with his family money — helped make him a billionaire with a net worth of around $4.4 billion.
By the early 1990s, Lurie was actively looking for an NFL team to buy. After striking out or walking away from the Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, and a Baltimore expansion team, he finally bought the Philadelphia Eagles in 1994 for $195 million.
So Jeffrey Lurie has been the Eagles owner for nearly 30 years now, but who is the Eagles owner before him?
History of the Philadelphia Eagles owners
“Who is the Eagles owner?” has been an interesting question over the years.
In 1933, the NFL awarded Bert Bell and Lud Wray the liquidated assets of the defunct Frankford Yellow Jackets team for $2,500. Bell and Wray then christened the team the Philadelphia Eagles.
In 1936, Bell became the sole owner of the team and, in 1940, was a part of one of the strangest ownership swaps in pro sports history.
The incident is now known as the “Pennsylvania Polka,” and basically, Bell helped Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney sell the Steelers to Alexis Thompson, and Rooney bought into the Eagles. A year later, the owners swapped rosters and territorial rights, with Rooney taking back over the Steelers and Thompson getting the Eagles.
In 1949, Thompson sold the team to a group of 100 inventors who all chipped in $3,000 to buy the team. The group was led by trucking entrepreneur James P. Clark and was known as the “Happy Hundred.”
Then, in 1963, the “Happy Hundred” sold the Eagles to construction magnate Jerry Wolman who, at 36, became the youngest owner in the NFL. Wolman paid $5.5 million for the team, making the 65 or so “Happy Hundred” who were left around $60,000 on their $3,000 investment.
Wolman owned the team until 1969, when he sold it to another businessman who made his money in trucking, Leonard Tose, for $16.155 million. Tose held onto the Eagles until 1984 when he was forced to sell the team to repay gambling debts to Atlantic City casinos.
In ’84, Florida-based car dealers Norman Braman and Ed Leibowitz bought the team for $65 million before selling the team to Jeffrey Lurie a decade later.