Norma Hunt, Widow Of Kansas City Chiefs Founder, Dead At 85

Norma Hunt, widow of the late Kansas City Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt, iwatches as Dan Marino performs the coin toss at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, February 4, 2007.

Photo: Tribune News Service

Norma Hunt, the widow of Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, has died at the age of 85, her family announced in a statement released by the team on Sunday (June 4).

"Kind, generous and unfailingly positive, mom was one of a kind,'' the Hunts said in their statement. "Her joy and zeal for life were infectious. She loved caring for others, and she always had an encouraging word. She was a loyal friend, the consummate hostess and she had a rare ability to make everyone she encountered feel valued and at ease.

"Mom was steadfastly devoted to her family and fiercely passionate about her family's sports teams. She was by our father Lamar's side every step of the way -- from the merger of the AFL and the NFL to the formation of Major League Soccer, World Championship Tennis, the North American Soccer League, and their founding investment in the Chicago Bulls. She was the only person we knew who rivaled his love of sports. The two of them found such joy together, whether at home, or in stadium stands around the world.''

Hunt attended all 57 Super Bowls, beginning with the Chiefs' loss to the Green Bay Packers in the inaugural game in 1967. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes expressed his condolences in a tweet shared Sunday night.

"Mrs. Norma was the best. Glad to be a part of this special organization she help[ed] build. She will be missed! Prayers to the entire Hunt family," Mahomes wrote.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement in response to Hunt's death, saying he was always "struck b her warmth and grace" in the nearly 40 years that he knew the family.

"Norma's sense of family extended to the Chiefs' organization which she greatly adored," the statement read. "Norma was one of the most passionate fans of the Chiefs and the NFL, and understood and enjoyed every aspect of the game. She loved being around the team and referred to the players as 'real-life superheroes.' Norma attended every Super Bowl ever played, including the two recent Chiefs' victories, and was the only woman to do so."

Lamar Hunt founded the Chiefs as the Dallas Texans, a charter member of the American Football League, in 1959, prior to the NFL-AFL merger. The entrepreneur, who is credited for coining the term 'Super Bowl,' died in 2006, at which point the team was turned over to his son Clark.

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