OAKLAND, Calif. - Franklin Mieuli, whose deerstalker cap, substantial beard and casual style made him one of the NBA's most colorful figures in his 24 years as owner of the Golden State Warriors, died Sunday. He was 89.
Mieuli died of natural causes in a San Francisco Bay Area hospital, the Warriors said.
Mieuli was the principal owner of the Warriors from the time they moved to the Bay Area in 1962 until he sold them in 1986. He won an NBA title with the team in 1975, still the club's only championship in nearly a half-century in California.
"Franklin was truly one of the innovators in our league, who was so proud of the Bay Area and his ability to maintain a team there," NBA commissioner David Stern said.
Leveraging his way into sports ownership through a business producing Bay Area sports broadcasts, Mieuli also once owned a small percentage of the San Francisco Giants. He still had a 5 percent interest in the 49ers, purchased in 1954.
He founded a radio production company, Franklin Mieuli Associates, which produced the broadcasts of the Giants after they moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958.
In addition to his NBA title ring, Mieuli had a fistful of Super Bowl rings from the 49ers.- AP