Buffalo Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr. will be posthumously honored with the Major Donald Holleder Award at the 65th annual Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Dinner on June 9, at the Riverside Convention Center.
Wilson, who died in March 25, brought the Bills to Buffalo in October 1959 and owned the team for 55 years. Wilson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, helped keep the American Football League afloat in its early years and was owner of the Bills when the team went to four consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s.
Wilson’s Bills won the 1964 and ’65 AFL titles and he kept the team based in western New York throughout his life. Wilson also contributed tens of millions of dollars to philanthropic causes and became a major benefactor of St. John Fisher College, home of the Bills training camp.
Holleder was a three-sport star at Aquinas Institute, who became an All-American football player at West Point. He was killed in Vietnam in 1967 while attempting to rescue several of his soldiers.
Former Bills Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and Steve Tasker, who starred on Wilson’s Super Bowl teams, will collectively accept the Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year Award on behalf of Buffalo’s Super Bowl-era teams.
Posted in Inside the Bills