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Higgins pays tribute to Ralph Wilson on House Floor

by jmaloni

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Fri, Apr 4th 2014 10:35 pm

Congressman celebrates Wilson's life and legacy

Congressman Brian Higgins recently took to the Floor of the House of Representatives to pay tribute to longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., who recently passed.

Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills in 1959 and remained team owner for five-and-a-half decades. He previously served in the U.S. Navy from 1941-46, during World War II.

Higgins recalled Wilson's love for and keen understanding of the game of football, as well as his generous contributions to the community and the country as a philanthropist and veteran.

Below is the text of Higgins' remarks on the House Floor:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mourn the passing of Ralph Wilson.

"Wilson is best known in my Western New York community as founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills for a remarkable 55-year tenure. He was a savvy businessman and a true lover of the game of football.

"I remember Mr. Wilson calling me to his office to discuss his concerns about the new NFL collective bargaining agreement. He believed that agreement was stacked against smaller market teams like Buffalo, and I found him to have a better command of the details than anyone on the subject. He was passionate not only about his beloved Buffalo Bills, but about its place in our community as well.

"And Mr. Wilson's interest in our community didn't stop at football. His foundation donated over $11 million in the past two decades, including to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, community food banks and the Hospice Foundation of Western New York.

"Mr. Speaker, we are forever grateful for Mr. Wilson's dedication to Western New York and to our nation as a World War II veteran. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

This weekend, the community will remember the Pro Football Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills owner at a celebration of life taking place at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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