Published On: Thu, May 29th, 2014

Malcolm Glazer passes away at the age of 86

Glazer, who pioneered his family’s modest watchmaking business into a global conglomerate, was best known for his sports interests which covered the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The death has been announced of Malcolm Glazer, the well-known businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Glazer, who had been in poor health for some time, passed on Wednesday morning, in his hometown of Tampa, Florida.

The news of Malcolm Glazer’s passing was circulated in a statement issued by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL team   owned by the Glazer family.

Malcolm Glazer succeeded in building a modest family business into a major diversify conglomerate, whilst insisting on maintaining a low profile.

That was to end in 1995 when  Mr Glazer shattered the record for acquiring an NFL team, when they paid out $192 million for his local team,  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Later Malcolm Glazer was heard to admit that he bought the team after coming under considerable pressure from his six sports-mad sons.  Buying the Buccaneers was to prove a worthwhile move , when in 2002  they succeeded in winning the Super Bowl for the first and only time in their history.

Spurred on by their success with Tampa Bay buyout, Malcolm Glazer spearheaded a considerably larger acquisition in 2005, paying out just over $1.2 billion to take over the massive UK soccer club, Manchester United.

The Glazer family’s takeover of Manchester United has been controversial from the start, with fans of the club which has been in existence for well over a century singularly unimpressed with the conditions of the takeover, which was largely financed through a heavily leveraged buyout.

Manchester United v Villarreal

During one visit to Old Trafford by the Glazer family, riot police had to break through a makeshift barricade manned by angry fans so the Glazer family could leave the stadium.

Although the resistance continued for a number of years, it became gradually more passive as, with the Glazer’s  in the hot seat, Manchester United went on to enjoy one of the most successful period in their history on the playing field, winning five English Premier League titles as well as  a highly prestigious Champions League title in 2008, even defeating Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich’s  Chelsea in the final.

Despite rumblings of discontent over the years, the Glazer family continue to hold 90 per cent of the stock in Manchester United, still regarded as the world’s third most valuable soccer team with a value of $2.8 billion with their shares  listed on the New York stock exchange.

For the immediate future, it looks like the Glazer family  will retain control of the group, with two of Glazer’s six sons, Avram and Joel holding a joint position of executive chairman.

Malcolm Glazer, who is survived by his wife Linda and their six sons, will be remembered as a person who took control of two of the world’s highest profile sporting empires,  whilst preferring to remain in the background.

Malcolm  Glazer started life as one of seven children born to Lithuanian Jewish immigrants in the US. At the height of the World War II Glazer took over the family watch making business, building into a US-based conglomerate with business interests covering food production, to property specializing in the running of care homes for the elderly.

At the height of his business powers in the mid-nineties, Glazer told of one of his biggest business coups, when he succeeded in orchestrating the buyout of Zapata, a major industrial holding company which had been founded by former US president George H W Bush.

In addition to his exceptionally active business life, Malcolm Glazer devoted much of the time towards philanthropic efforts. In 1999 Malcolm launched the Glazer Family Foundation, committed to assisting charitable and educational causes in and around the Tampa Bay area.

Since its founding, the Glazer Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars in programs, tickets, grants and in-kind contributions, with one of the largest and most outstanding contributions being the $5 million that they donated to allow the construction of the Glazer Children’s Museum in downtown Tampa, which opened in 2010.

Another major philanthropic project that Glazer remained involved in almost up to the time of his passing, was the Family Foundation’s Vision Program, which he established in 2006 to help children of school age who suffere from vision problems, with the foundation providing eye examinations without cost to thousands of disadvantaged children throughout Florida.

Another of Malcolm Glazer’s reportedly favorite philanthropic projects was the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, an organization that he helped to found in order to promote amateur sports activities in the state, with Glazer having donated $2 million to the Commission.

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