Former Devils, Astros owner John McMullen diesAssociated Press
Updated: Sep. 17, 2005, 7:26 PM ET
The cause of death was not released by the Devils.
McMullen was credited with bringing NHL hockey to New Jersey, acquiring the Colorado franchise in 1982 and moving it to the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Under his ownership, the team won two Stanley Cups. He sold the franchise in 2000 to an affiliate of the YankeeNets sports holding company for $175 million.
"As we grieve the passing of John McMullen, we celebrate his life of extraordinary accomplishment and the formidable contribution he made to the success of the National Hockey League," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "His foresight brought a franchise to New Jersey and his fervent support helped build the Devils into champions. Our deepest condolences go to his family and to the Devils' organization, which has lost its cherished patriarch."
McMullen owned the Astros from 1979-92. He then sold the team to Drayton McLane Jr. for $115 million.
"As far as the players were concerned, we thought he was fantastic," Astros manager Phil Garner said Saturday. "He was tough but he was always fair and this was a first-class organization when he was here."
McMullen purchased a share of the Yankees in 1974 and said "There is nothing quite so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner's."
Born in Jersey City, McMullen graduated from the Naval Academy in 1940 and rose to the rank of commander during a 15-year naval career. He earned a master's degree in naval architecture and engineering from MIT and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
In 1959, he founded John J. McMullen Associates, an international firm of naval architects and marine engineers known for its innovations in commercial and naval ship design. In 1972, McMullen acquired Norton Lilly International, a shipping agency he operated until 2002. From 1968 to 1971, he was president and CEO of United States Lines.
on the Naval Academy's Board of Visitors and as a commissioner of the
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Dr. John J. McMullen