Owner of Minnesota Twins team
A financier who also headed a family-owned network of banking, real estate and other companies, Pohlad was worth an estimated $3.8 billion, according to Forbes Magazine's 2006 rankings, which placed him as the 102nd richest person in the United States.
When Pohlad paid Calvin Griffith $38 million for the Twins in 1984, he was widely credited with saving baseball in Minnesota. With the purchase, he inherited a promising group of young players, including Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek and future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. During his nearly 25 years as owner, the team won World Series titles in 1987 and 1991.
Pohlad was born Aug. 23, 1915, in Des Moines, Iowa. A football player at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., Pohlad served in the Army during World War II. After his discharge, he and his brother-in-law, Russell Stotesbury, assumed control of a small bank holding company in Minneapolis called Bank Shares. Pohlad took control of the company after Stotesbury died in 1955, and he slowly built a small empire of banks and other businesses.
Although the public largely perceived him as a hard-driving miser, Pohlad and his wife, Eloise, who died in 2003, together donated millions of dollars to charitable causes. They founded the Twins Community Fund, which gave $3.3 million to area charities in 2005.
-- times wire reports
Jan. 5, 2009
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