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June 2019
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NFL mourns loss of Texans’ owner Bob McNair




Bob McNair in 2012 By dskillzhtown on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https

Robert C. McNair (January 1, 1937 – November 23, 2018) was an American businessman, philanthropist, and the owner of the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL).

Professional career

The McNairs were residents of HoustonTexas beginning in 1960. He spent most of his 20s and 30s as a struggling salesman and unsuccessful entrepreneur whose businesses all failed. He eventually broke through to success when he founded the cogeneration company Cogen Technologies, which he sold in 1999 to Enron and CalPERS. At the time of his death, McNair retained ownership of power plants in New York and West Virginia. McNair served as chairman and chief executive officer of The McNair Group, a financial and real estate firm that is headquartered in Houston, Texas. He was also the owner of Palmetto Partners, Ltd., a private investment company that manages the McNairs’ public and private equity investments, and was Chairman of The McNair Foundation. In June 2000, McNair formed a biotechnology investment firm, Cogene Biotech Ventures, where he served as company chairman.

He was rumored to be interested in buying a soccer club in the United Kingdom, and twice went to visit St Andrews, home of Championship team, Birmingham City F.C., who have been up for sale for the past two years. On January 3, 2014, a consortium headed by McNair made a bid to purchase Reading F.C. of the Championship, but were unsuccessful.

Houston Texans owner

Committed to bringing the NFL back to the city of Houston after the Oilers left the city to become the Tennessee Titans in 1996, McNair formed Houston NFL Holdings in 1998. On October 6, 1999, the NFL announced that the 32nd NFL franchise had been awarded to McNair. This team would become the Houston Texans, who began play in 2002. They won their first AFC South title in 2011, repeating in 2012 en route to four titles in six seasons. He was influential in bringing two Super Bowls to Houston’s NRG Stadium in 2004 and 2017.


McNair died on November 23, 2018. He had been diagnosed with skin cancer in 1994 and had been in treatment for various cancers throughout that span; he had largely withdrawn from the team’s operations in the last months of his life, and his son and chief operating officer Cal McNair is expected to inherit the team.