|Under Mieuli's reign as Warriors owner, the team captured the NBA Champsionship in 1975.
Former Golden State Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli, who had been recently hospitalized, passed away earlier today in the Bay Area due to natural causes at the age of 89. Mieuli, who was born on September 14, 1920 in San Jose, served as the Warriors owner for 24 years after assuming a partial stake in the team when it moved to the Bay Area in 1962 from Philadelphia and became the club's majority owner shortly thereafter (purchased from Eddie Gottlieb). During his tenure with the Warriors, the club captured the NBA Championship in 1975, when head coach Al Attles and forward Rick Barry led the team to an improbable four-game sweep of the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals. Mieuli retained ownership of the team until 1985, when he sold the club to Jim Fitzgerald.
A long-time radio and TV producer in the Bay Area, Mieuli was also a part-owner of the San Francisco 49ers and his production company - Franklin Mieuli & Associates - has been a long-standing and successful operation in the Bay Area for over six decades.
Mieuli is survived by his long-time female companion, Blake Green, two children, son Peter Mieuli and daughter Holly Buchanan, and seven grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Warriors Owner Chris Cohan: "Franklin Mieuli was one of the most colorful and passionate individuals I have ever met and basketball fans in Northern California certainly owe a debt of gratitude to him for helping establish NBA basketball in the Bay Area. I don't think anyone will ever forget the 1975 championship team and the excitement that Franklin and that group of underdogs brought to fans of all ages. Obviously, this is a sad day for all long-time Warrior fans, but Franklin's legacy will live on forever in the Bay Area and throughout the NBA. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many, many friends."
NBA Commissioner David Stern: "Franklin was truly one of the innovators in our league, who was so proud of the Bay Area and his ability to maintain a team there. I have always fondly remembered his introducing a very young lawyer to so many wonderful sites in San Francisco, his warmth and his belief in the importance of sports to a community."
Warriors Legend and current Ambassador Al Attles: "This is an extremely difficult day for me. Franklin Mieuli was one of the most instrumental figures in my life, both from a basketball standpoint and simply life in general. He was always there for me and my family and provided me with so many wonderful opportunities. He was one of the most unique and eccentric individuals that I have ever met and I'm not sure there will ever be anyone like him again. He truly was one of a kind. I will miss him dearly."
Former player Rick Barry: "I was greatly saddened to learn of Franklin's passing. He was a great owner, but more importantly a great friend. Besides that, he was a unique individual with many eccentricities, including his trademark deerslayer hat. He always called me his 'Prodigal Son' after I had left the Warriors to go to the ABA. He vowed to do everything in his power to get me back. Thank goodness he did, because without his perseverance, I would never have had the opportunity to return to the Warriors and experience an NBA championship. I have kept in touch with Franklin over the years and his passing is a great loss to his family, friends and the game of basketball. I will truly miss him."