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Woody Johnson: 'We're lucky' to have had Ralph Wilson

Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, answers

Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, answers questions from the media during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009 press conference at the Tampa Convention Center on Jan. 31, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jets owner Woody Johnson called the passing of Ralph Wilson "the end of a real important era. He was so important in developing football into what it is today."

Wilson, the Bills' iconic owner, died on Tuesday at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. He was 95.

"[He was] the NFL," Johnson said. "He was the AFL. He was always a guy that was up to the task. He had a great sense of humor. He was a great speaker. I heard his Hall of Fame speech he gave in 1991. It was better than most people could give at (the age of) 31. He was really just an incredible leader with great vision and so it’s an end of really a major, major part of American football to lose a guy like Ralph Wilson. He was one of the first guys I met when I decided to pursue this line of work.

"We're lucky to have had a guy like that because you had a guy like that in the right place at the right time to form this league," he said. "We’re lucky."

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