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'Our Hall of Fame owner, Ralph Wilson, has passed away'

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Buffalo Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon announced moments ago that Bills owner Ralph Wilson died today at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.

Wilson was 95. A World War II veteran, he was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Brandon, attending the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, received a phone call about Wilson's death around 2 p.m.

"I've just received word that our Hall of Fame owner, Ralph Wilson, has passed away," Brandon said. "He passed away peacefully at his home with his beautiful wife, Mary, and his daughters by his side."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the other owners of Wilson's death. Then an emotional Brandon briefed reporters.

"It's fitting," Brandon said of Wilson passing while so many owners were gathered together. "No one loved this league more than Ralph Wilson and his fellow owners and these players.

"We're trying to deal with this information, and it's very difficult at this team. He was a great man, an unbelievable leader. ... He and the other original owners put this league in the position it's in today.

"It's a difficult, difficult period right now for everybody."

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