Rocky Wirtz, the former chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, died at age 70 following a brief illness. Wirtz had been a significant person in the world of sports and business, making a lasting impact on the Blackhawks club.
Wirtz’s grandfather, Arthur Wirtz, bought the Blackhawks in 1954, and when Wirtz took over the franchise in 2007, he continued the family tradition. With him at the helm, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015, reigniting Chicago’s hockey fandom each time.
What was Rocky Wirtz’s cause of death?
The Blackhawks’ Twitter account reported Rocky had passed away, although neither the cause nor place of his passing was specified.
“Our hearts are very heavy today,” said Danny Wirtz, Rocky’s son and the team’s CEO, in a statement. In a press release, the team stated that Wirtz died suddenly following a brief illness, according to CBS Sports.
As his children put it, “Our dad was a passionate businessman committed to making Chicago a great place to live, work, and visit, but his true love was for his family and close friends.”
“He was a loving father, a devoted husband to Marilyn, a brother, a nephew, an uncle and a doting grandfather to his six remarkable grandchildren,” according to the statement.
His loss has profoundly altered many lives, and he will be sorely missed. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015, while Rocky was the team’s general manager.
Who was Rocky Wirtz?
As the founder and chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), American businessman and visionary leader Rocky Wirtz left an indelible mark on ice hockey. After his father, Bill Wirtz, passed away in 2007, the young man, born on October 5, 1952, gained control of the Blackhawks and the Wirtz Organization.
The terrible death of Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz has devastated the city of Chicago and its sports fan base. He was an important figure in sports lore as the chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks.
In addition to serving as chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, he helped steer Breakthru Beverage Group, the liquor distribution company his family founded and led until a merger in 2015.
In addition, he oversaw the Wirtz Organization’s vast portfolio of real estate, banking, and entertainment businesses. Along with Bulls and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Rocky Wirtz became a co-owner of the United Center Joint Venture in 2022.
Forbes estimated his family’s net worth at $4.4 billion the previous year, demonstrating their obvious wealth.
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Rocky Wirtz has been showered with tributes.
Sports fans around are in disbelief over Rocky Wirtz’s untimely death. Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, was deeply saddened by the news and praised Wirtz for his commitment to his family, the Blackhawks, and economic success.
The Blackhawks enjoyed a renaissance under his direction, going on to win three Stanley Cups and earn the respect of Chicagoans.
Members of the Chicago sports community, such as Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox, George McCaskey, chairman of the Chicago Bears, and Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs, have paid tribute to Wirtz for his extraordinary career and generous spirit.
Both Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson praised him, calling him a “giant” and “true champion” for the state of Illinois.
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