Houston Texans owner Bob McNair passes away at age 81

HOUSTON (FOX 26) -- The Houston Texans organization announced on Friday that team founder, senior chairman and chief executive officer Robert C. "Bob" McNair passed away on Friday with his wife and family by his side.

McNair is survived by his wife Janice, sons Cal and Cary, daughters Ruth and Melissa, fifteen grandchildren and two great grandsons. He is credited with bringing the NFL back to Houston in 2002 after league owners voted 29-0 to award him the 32nd NFL franchise on Oct. 5, 1999.

McNair's leadership brought two Super Bowls to NRG Stadium in 2004 and 2017. He served as chair for The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the Houston Texans Foundation and The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation.

Former President George H.W. Bush released the following statement on Friday evening upon learning of McNair's passing:

Texans team president Jamey Rootes released the following statement on Friday evening:

Team general manager Brian Gaine released the following statement on Friday evening:

Head coach Bill O'Brien released the following statement on Friday evening:

"It's a sad day for Houston," Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told FOX 26 Sports. "I was a partner with Bob from the beginning with the Houston Texans. It's such a disappointment. This is life. We will always remember that Bob was a leader in this city and brought the Texans to Houston, Texas. We're losing one of our icons of this generation. He's got a wonderful family and hearts are with all of them."

"It's bad," former Texans receiver Andre Johnson told FOX 26. "You don't want to ever hear about anybody losing their life. I knew he wasn't doing well. Every time I got a chance to ask Cal how he was doing, I would. You're just kind of caught off guard. You really don't know what to say. You really don't know what to do. For me, you always appreciate someone who gave you an opportunity to live out your dream. He didn't have to draft me, but he did. Financially, he helped put my family in a better situation. I'm forever grateful to the McNair family for giving me that opportunity to live out my dream. I told him, just sitting down and talking with him, I just hope that my play and everything I did showed them that I appreciated them. I tried to do everything I could to help bring that organization a Super Bowl. I don't really know what to say right now." You're just kind of speechless. I sent Cal a text telling him my deepest condolences to him and his family."

"His contributions will be felt by generations of Houstonians for years and years to come," said Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president & chief executive officer Joel Cowley. "His efforts to bring professional football back to Houston benefited this community so much and directly benefited the Rodeo as well as with the opportunity to move into a facility like NRG Stadium and NRG Center. Those structures and the structures that will follow are really going to be his legacy and will positively impact Houstonians for generations to come."