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Former President & Managing General Partner Peter A. Magowan Passes Away at the Age of 76

On behalf of the Magowan Family, the San Francisco Giants announced with deep sadness that former President & Managing General Partner Peter A. Magowan passed away on Sunday, January 27, surrounded by his loving family, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. He was 76 years old. 

"The Giants family, the entire Bay Area and the game of baseball lost a man whose passion and loyalty to his favorite team and beloved community made it possible for all of us and future generations to experience the magic of Giants baseball in San Francisco forever," said Larry Baer, Giants President and CEO. "Peter was my mentor and dear friend, and I will forever be grateful for his guidance, support and love. His legacy will be carried on by all those he inspired, including community leaders, our players, the front office, Junior Giants players and, of course, by his devoted family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Debby and his children and their families."

On behalf of the Magowan Family, the San Francisco Giants announced with deep sadness that former President & Managing General Partner Peter A. Magowan passed away on Sunday, January 27, surrounded by his loving family, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. He was 76 years old. 

"The Giants family, the entire Bay Area and the game of baseball lost a man whose passion and loyalty to his favorite team and beloved community made it possible for all of us and future generations to experience the magic of Giants baseball in San Francisco forever," said Larry Baer, Giants President and CEO. "Peter was my mentor and dear friend, and I will forever be grateful for his guidance, support and love. His legacy will be carried on by all those he inspired, including community leaders, our players, the front office, Junior Giants players and, of course, by his devoted family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Debby and his children and their families."

The Magowan family issued the following statement: "Our family lost a great man today. We all know how much Peter loved his Giants and San Francisco, and he had that same love and passion for his family. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren, and we will forever cherish the memories we made together."

Born on April 5, 1942 in New York City, Peter grew up a passionate Giants fan rooting for Willie Mays, Bobby Thomson, Monte Irvin and other New York Giants greats at the Polo Grounds. In 1958, Peter moved to San Francisco with his family - coincidentally the same year that the Giants moved West - where he continued to follow his favorite team. A 1964 Stanford graduate with a degree in American literature, Magowan received his master's degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University. He also completed two years of additional postgraduate work at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He went on to build a successful 37-year career with Safeway Inc., including as Chairman and CEO from 1980-1993. He stepped down as CEO in 1993 when he took over the Giants. Throughout his successful career, Peter also served on the boards of Caterpillar, Inc., DaimlerChrysler, W5 Networks, Inc., and Spring Group PLC.

Recognized as one of Major League Baseball's most innovative and progressive leaders during his tenure, Peter retired in September of 2008 after serving 16 seasons as the Giants' president and managing general partner. A longtime resident of San Francisco and lifelong baseball enthusiast, Peter orchestrated two major events that kept the Giants in Northern California forever.

In an 11th-hour effort, he and a group of civic-minded San Franciscans saved the Giants from relocating to Tampa Bay in December of 1992 by forming an ownership group to purchase the team. 

The purchase was contingent upon the new ownership group developing a new ballpark to stabilize the franchise and keep the team in San Francisco for generations to come. In December of 1995, Peter and the ownership group unveiled a revolutionary plan to build a new, privately-funded ballpark at China Basin to serve as the permanent home of the Giants. The ballpark opened to rave reviews in 2000. For his efforts in overseeing the building of the critically acclaimed ballpark, Peter was named the 2000 Sports Executive of the Year by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal.

During Peter's 16-year tenure, the Giants reached the post season four times and were the 2002 National League Champions. He received numerous awards for the organization's innovative community work, including becoming the first professional sports team to dedicate an annual game to the fight against AIDS/HIV with the creation of "Until There's A Cure Day" in 1994. He established the 100 Percent Player Participation program and the Giants Community Fund formed the Junior Giants program, providing free leagues for kids to play and learn baseball. The Fund's field renovation program is named in his honor.

"Peter's mark on the Giants and the San Francisco community can be felt throughout the ballpark, in which he was intimately involved in the design and planning and throughout the daily operations of the organization," continued Baer. "He set forth a Giants vision to create a winning culture and to serve our fans and the community. Over the past 25 years, we have followed through on his vision and his impact on our community will be felt for decades to come."

Peter recognized the importance of honoring the team's history and tradition and most importantly, recognizing the hundreds of former players who wore a Giants uniform. In one of his first acts as team president, Peter signed Hall of Famer and the greatest all-time player Willie Mays to a lifetime contract. He also brought Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda back into the organization to serve as special advisors. Additionally, he founded the Forever Giants alumni association, encompassing all former Giants players from San Francisco and New York. In 2008, he established the Giants Wall of Fame, which serves as a tribute to the organization's greatest players of the San Francisco era.

"Peter Magowan has been a part of my life for a long, long time, first as a fan watching me play in New York and then, remaining a fan when we moved to San Francisco. Along the way, he became my friend. Peter would call me often to check in. He and Debby cared about me and it was so easy to care about them in return. It's hard to find the right words just now, but in losing Peter, I've lost a great, great friend. He was like my godfather. No one can replace him," said Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

In addition to Debby, Peter is survived by 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peter Magowan Fields for Kids Program of the Giants Community Fund.

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