Alex Spanos, the longtime Chargers owner, died at age 95 early Tuesday morning. He was surrounded by his family.
The Cal Poly alumnus donated $8 million in 2004 to renovate the university’s football stadium, now named Alex G. Spanos Stadium. He and his late wife Faye Spanos also donated $1.5 million in 2003 to renovate the main on-campus theater, named Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.
Since these substantial donations were made, the Spanos family has “stayed closely connected with our campus community,” according to a university statement.
Spanos attended Cal Poly from 1941 to 1942 as an aerospace engineering student, but left for the military shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. While attending, Spanos was involved in the men’s swim team, the marching band and the singer’s club.
“Cal Poly is thankful for its decades-long relationship with Alex and Faye (who passed away in August),” the university statement read. “Our thoughts are with their children — Dea, Dean, Michael, and Alexis — and the rest of the Spanos family at this time.”
Spanos was a family man whose “four children, his 15 grandchildren and his 12 great-grandchildren always came first,” the Spanos family’s statement read.
In 1974, he was named an honored alumnus of Cal Poly. Spanos was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2004 after speaking at commencement. It was 2009 when he was inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame.
Alongside his charitable work with organizations such as the American Red Cross, Spanos was the owner of the formerly San Diego, now Los Angeles Chargers. One of his most memorable moments was watching the Chargers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to play in Super Bowl XXIX, according to a family statement.
“We have no words that can adequately express our sadness with his passing,” the family statement said. “We will continue to honor his legacy by dedicating ourselves to making a difference in the community and throughout our country.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the next several days.