Vikings former owner Wheelock Whitney Jr. has passed away


Former Minnesota Vikings owner and banking chief executive officer Wheelock Whitney Jr. has passed away at 89 years old of natural causes at his home.

Today is a sad day for the Minnesota Vikings, as an important member of the team’s history and integral individual in Minnesota sports has passed away at the age of 89.

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According to Fox Sports, former co-owner of the Vikings Wheelock Whitney Jr. passed away in his home due to natural causes. The man affectionately known as “Whee” attended Phillips Andover and Yale before becoming a successful investment banker and teaching at the Carlson School of Business. Whitney and his wife Irene Hixon, along with help from Vernon Johnson, went on to create the Johnson Institute, which provides help to those dealing with addiction and later became part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Whitney was a big figure in the sports community, helping the state of Minnesota obtain the rights to create the Twins, where he served on the Board of Directors from 1961 to 1985. In addition, he was also important in creating the Minnesota North Stars as well as aided in the construction of the Met Center. He was also a fan of horse racing, and had a horse in the 1960’s called Quicken Tree which had wins in the Santa Anita Handicap and the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

But baseball and hockey weren’t his only contributions to Minnesota sports. Wheelock Whitney Jr. was a co-owner and president of the Minnesota Vikings as well. When Red McCombs decided he would be selling the team in 1998, Whitney was one of the 10 individuals to pool their money together and buy the team.

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It is sad to see such an important figure in Minnesota sports pass away. Without him, the state may not have the amount of sports teams and facilities that they do today. When you add in the great things he worked toward in addiction recovery and financial services in Minnesota, the loss feels even greater. May Wheelock Whitney Jr. rest in peace.