American automobile dealer, philanthropist and sports franchise owner, Tom Benson, Died at 90


Thomas Milton Benson was born on July 12, 1927, and died on March 15, 2018.

He was an American businessman, philanthropist, and sports franchise owner.

Tom Benson was the owner of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) from 1985 to 2018 and New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 2012 to 2018.

As a sports team owner, he had a Super Bowl victory to his credit, via the Saints winning Super Bowl XLIV.

He spent his final years in the exclusive Audubon Place neighborhood in New Orleans.

Benson’s brother, Larry Benson, has also been in sports ownership and owned the San Antonio Riders of the World League.

He was married three times. His first wife was Shirley Landry who is deceased.

During 2003, his second wife, Grace Marie Trudeau Benson (born March 1, 1927), died of Parkinson’s disease.

In October 2004, he married Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird.

Him and his first wife Shirley adopted three children: Robert Carter Benson, Renee Benson, and Jeanne Marie Benson.

His Renee Benson has two adult children, Rita LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc.

Rita Benson LeBlanc was Saints owner and executive vice president until Tom Benson fired her, her brother Ryan and her mother Renee, and wrote them out of his will.

His wife, along with her mother Renee and brother Ryan LeBlanc, then sued Tom Benson claiming he is incompetent, and for control of his companies.

His only living child, as of January 2015, is Renee.

He was hospitalized on February 16, 2018, with the flu.

Benson died on March 15, 2018, at Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson, Louisiana.

He died at 90 years old.