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 Pistons Owner Bill Davidson Dies 
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Post Pistons Owner Bill Davidson Dies
Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson dies
by A. Sherrod Blakely
Friday March 13, 2009, 10:50 PM

AP File Photo
Pistons owner Bill Davidson has died at the age of 86.TORONTO -- A Detroit Pistons official confirmed late Friday night that team owner Bill Davidson has passed away.

He was 86.

"We are all deeply saddened by the news of Mr. D's passing," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "He's a great owner who genuinely cared for players, coaches and employees. He will not only be remembered as a great owner but also as a person who made a difference in many people's lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. D and the entire Davidson family."

Davidson has owned the team since 1974, a span that includes NBA championships in 1989, 1990 and most recently, 2004.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

During the 2003-2004 season, Davidson became the first professional sports owner to win championships in three professional leagues. In addition to the Pistons, Davidson owns the WNBA Detroit Shock and during the 2003-2004 season, he was the owner of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

While he owned multiple professional teams, the Pistons always seemed to hold a special place in his heart.

"I want to tell you that I love the Pistons and I will be with them until my grave," Davidson said in a 2005 interview.

Davidson, who was born in Detroit, received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and earned a Juris Doctor's Degree from Wayne State University.

He spent three years practicing law, and decided to give it up to take over a wholesale drug company. After turning the company around in three years, he performed a similar feat with a surgical supply company.

After that, he took over the family business, Guardian Glass Company, which has since become Guardian Industries Corp. and is one of the world's largest manufacturers of automotive glass.

At his alma mater, the University of Michigan, Davidson's contributions to the school total more than $55 million.

The William Davidson Institute was created at Michigan's Ross School of Business after a gift of $30 million from Davidson.

Davidson is survived by his wife, Karen, and two children, Ethan and Marla.

Very Sad. what a great owner. He was what an Owner was suppose to be someone who not only cared about winning, he cared about his players and the fans. He will be Missed RIP.


March 14th, 2009, 8:08 am
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This is a sad day for the entire Detroit sports community. Mr. Davidson was a great man who should be the template for all future owners, business leaders, and just people in general. You will be missed Mr. D!

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March 14th, 2009, 1:02 pm
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A very serious loss for the city of Detroit. He cared a great deal for his team, city and it's fans.

Mr. Davidson will be missed by all!


March 14th, 2009, 1:22 pm
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The Lions have released a statement Ford is being classy here.

Lions president Tom Lewand:

"On behalf of the William Clay Ford Family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Davidson family and the Detroit Pistons on the passing of Mr. Davidson.

"The sports world and the Detroit community have lost one of their true icons. Mr. Davidson will be missed for not only his accomplishments as an owner but also for his many civic and charitable contributions to our region."


March 15th, 2009, 10:06 am
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Wow. I just seen this. I echo all of the above. Bill Davidson not only gave us NBA Championships, he gave 2 of them to us with one of the all time great teams with the Bad Boys.

How are the Pistons going to be affected organizationally from this? Will Mrs. Davidson continue on as owner in a business as usual approach?


March 16th, 2009, 9:33 am
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