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William V. Bidwill
Owner

Biography

William V. Bidwill’s association with the Cardinals began as a child ball boy on Chicago’s South Side and continues today as owner.

A native of Chicago, Bill Bidwill presides over the oldest continuously-operated professional football franchise. Founded in 1898, the Cardinals join the Chicago Bears as the only two remaining charter members of the National Football League (1920). As his involvement with the team continues through its eighth different decade, the current one has to rank among the most memorable. The Cardinals captured back-to-back division crowns in 2008 and ’09, won their first NFC title and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in team history following the ’08 season. The team has gone .500 or better in five of the last seven seasons - including a pair of 10-win campaigns in that span - and has sold out all 83 games played at University of Phoenix Stadium since it opened in 2006.

William V. Bidwill’s association with the Cardinals began as a child ball boy on Chicago’s South Side and continues today as owner.

A native of Chicago, Bill Bidwill presides over the oldest continuously-operated professional football franchise. Founded in 1898, the Cardinals join the Chicago Bears as the only two remaining charter members of the National Football League (1920). As his involvement with the team continues through its eighth different decade, the current one has to rank among the most memorable. The Cardinals captured back-to-back division crowns in 2008 and ’09, won their first NFC title and advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in team history following the ’08 season. The team has gone .500 or better in five of the last seven seasons - including a pair of 10-win campaigns in that span - and has sold out all 83 games played at University of Phoenix Stadium since it opened in 2006.

The Cardinals have remained in the Bidwill family since Bill’s father, Charles, a prominent Chicago sports figure and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, purchased the team in 1932. Charles ran the club until his death in the Cardinals’ NFL championship year of 1947. Charles’ wife, Violet, then guided the franchise’s fortunes for the next 15 years, followed jointly by sons Bill and Charles, Jr. (Stormy). Bill became sole owner in 1972.

Named a Cardinals vice president during his undergraduate days at Georgetown University, Bill Bidwill returned to Chicago from the Navy in 1956 to begin assisting family interests that included football. When the Cardinals moved to St. Louis in 1960, Bidwill returned to the organization on a full-time basis.

Bidwill continues to have a regular presence at the Cardinals training facility and is a popular fixture at team events, charity functions and football activities. An active supporter of various civic and charitable organizations and endeavors, Bidwill directed the formation of Cardinals Charities, the team’s organization dedicated to supporting worthy Arizona causes, shortly after the Cardinals arrived in the state.

While he is well-known for his understated nature and a preference for staying out of the spotlight, Bidwill has been unable to avoid accolades in recent years for his contributions and accomplishments as Cardinals owner.

At the 2010 annual NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Bidwill was honored with the Paul “Tank” Younger Award from the Fritz Pollard Alliance, whose purpose is to promote diversity and equality of job opportunity in the NFL. The Paul “Tank” Younger Award has been presented annually since ’03 for extraordinary contributions towards NFL diversity and previous winners include Tony Dungy, Dan Rooney and Bill Walsh. “When you look back over the years, Mr. Bidwill has a long history of hiring minorities to administrative and authoritative positions,” said FPA chairman John Wooten. “He has really helped level the playing field and that is what this award is all about.”

Also in February of 2010, Bidwill was inducted into the Sports Faith Hall of Fame in Lake Forest, IL. “(He) was honored as a long-time contributor to the NFL and for his contributions to charity, which he has conducted in a very quiet, very generous manner,” said Patrick McCaskey, chairman of the group’s advisory board and grandson of Chicago Bears legendary head coach George Halas. Bidwill joined Brian Piccolo, the former Bears running back, Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and former owner of the Detroit Tigers, and John Gagliardi, head coach at St. John’s (MN) University and college football’s all-time wins leader.

At its December 2010 commencement exercises at Northern Arizona University, Bidwill was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for “his contributions to the university, his community and his profession.”

Bidwill was credited with bringing Super Bowl XXX to Arizona in January of 1996. The region again hosted the title game when Super Bowl XLVII was played at University of Phoenix Stadium in February of 2008; it will host its third title game this February when Super Bowl XLIX is played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Bidwill and his wife, Nancy were married in September of 1960 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2010. They are the parents of five children and have nine grandchildren.

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