Ken Behring, Former Seattle Seahawks Owner, Dies at 91


In February 1996, with negotiations at an impasse, Mr. Behring said he intended to move the team to Southern California, and had its workout equipment shipped to Anaheim, the Rams’ home before they left for St. Louis in 1995.

The N.F.L. opposed a move by the Seahawks, and the team stayed put. But Mr. Behring sold the team in 1997 for $194 million to Paul Allen, a Seattle native and co-founder of Microsoft. The Kingdome was demolished in 2000; the Seahawks went back to Husky Stadium, then moved in 2002 into the newly built open-air ballpark now known as CenturyLink Field, built on the Kingdome site and financed largely by taxpayer money.

Mr. Behring turned to charitable endeavors after leaving pro football.

He donated tens of millions of dollars to the Smithsonian Institution, and in 2000 he created the nonprofit Wheelchair Foundation, which has provided more than one million wheelchairs to people in need throughout the world. He established programs to provide clean water in rural areas around the globe and to perform cataract surgeries in Asia and Mexico.

Kenneth Eugene Behring was born into a farm family on June 13, 1928, in Freeport, Ill. The family moved to Monroe, Wis., when he was a boy. He hoped to play football at the University of Wisconsin, but an injury ended his athletic career and he left school after one semester.

In the mid-1950s, he moved to Florida, and a few years later he developed the bedroom community that he expanded into a series of planned developments, the current city of Tamarac.

Mr. Behring moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972 and built upscale developments.

In addition to his son David, he is survived by his wife, Pat; his sons Tom, Jeff and Scott; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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