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Robert C McNair

Birthplace: Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States
Death: November 23, 2018 (80)
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Private
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private

Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private

About Bob McNair

Robert C. McNair (born 1937) is an American businessman, philanthropist, and the owner of the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL).

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair died today at age 80. The man who brought NFL football back to Houston has been battling skin cancer and made few public appearances this season — even as the coach he showed confidence in, Bill O’Brien, has led the Texans on a seven-game winning streak.

McNair passed with his wife Janice and his family at his side. The Texans owner resolutely battled skin cancer for years — and its return was evident last season when he showed up to a game with large bandages over his ear. Still, Bob McNair never wanted the focus to be on him or his health fight.

McNair leaves a legacy of billionaire giving (the energy tycoon once donated $100 million to Baylor College of Medicine in one single gift — and gave more than $500 million in his lifetime) and filled the void left after the Houston Oilers bolted town by securing an NFL expansion franchise for Houston. He later worked to bring the 2017 Super Bowl to Houston, one of two Super Bowls the Bayou City hosted during McNair’s ownership of the Texans.

The Texans are 117-149 with four playoff appearances in McNair’s 17 seasons of ownership. In his later years, as he faced serious health issues, McNair ran into controversy with remarks at the owner’s meetings that many found offensive.

With McNair’s wife, Janice McNair, still a vibrant force in the community and his son, Cal McNair, already having been promoted to Texans chairman in July, the Texans seem to be set up for continued solid family ownership.

But this is a day to mourn McNair and his complicated legacy. In many ways, the tale of Bob McNair the man is a remarkable American success story. Born in Tampa, McNair found himself close to bankruptcy in the early 1980s after a car leasing company he founded after he moved to Houston floundered.

Pivoting from that, he started Cogen Technologies Energy Group — and within a decade, it became the nation’s largest privately owned cogeneration company with five power plants.

“Many people say I was an overnight success, and I was, after 20 years of struggling,” McNair once said in a Houston Lifestyles & Home profile.

This self-made success story later focused his energies on bringing NFL football back to Houston, paying a then record $700 million in 1999 to secure the Texans expansion franchise. If it wasn’t for McNair, Los Angeles may have had an NFL team much earlier — and Houston could still be waiting for one.

Now, the only owner the Houston Texans have ever known is gone.

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Bob McNair's Timeline

December 31, 1937
Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States
November 23, 2018
Age 80