Long-time Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos passes away at age 94

SARASOTA, Fla. – Peter G. Angelos, the longtime Orioles owner, famed class-action attorney and political activist in the city of Baltimore, died earlier today. He was 94.

Angelos has been in poor healthy for many years, with son John taking control of the team and running the daily operations in 2018.

The club issued a statement on behalf of the Angelos family that read:

“Today, Peter G. Angelos passed away quietly at the age of 94. Mr. Angelos had been ill for several years, and the family thanks the doctors, nurses and caregivers who brought comfort to him in his final years. It was Mr. Angelos’ wish to have a private burial, and the family asks for understanding as they honor that request. Donations may be sent to charity in lieu of flowers.”

According to a lawsuit involving his sons in 2022, Angelos had surgery after his aortic valve failed in 2017.

Angelos’ passing comes as the team is on the verge of being sold to a group headed by Carlyle Group Inc. co-founder David Rubenstein, pending final approval of Major League Baseball owners. The family agreed to a sale in January for $1.725 billion.

The team recently reached a deal on a new lease extension at Camden Yards.

Rubenstein released a statement on the former Twitter offering his “deepest condolences.”

“Peter made an indelible mark first in business and then in baseball. The city of Baltimore owes him a debt of gratitude for his stewardship of the Orioles across three decades and for positioning the team for great success.”

Manager Brandon Hyde led today’s media session by also offering his condolences to the Angelos family.

“I know he meant a lot to a lot of people, the city of Baltimore, the community and baseball,” Hyde said.

The son of Greek immigrants, Angelos was born in Pittsburgh on July 4, 1929 and grew up in East Baltimore, and he moved on from his blue-collar background to create a law firm in his own name. He became a hero to Orioles fans by purchasing the team from Eli Jacobs for $173 million in 1993, guaranteeing local ownership and removing concerns about the franchise’s relocation.

Former owner Edward Bennett Williams always posed a threat to move the club to Washington, D.C. Jacobs had New York roots that also didn’t endear him to a nervous fan base.

The sale in 1993 was forced by Jacobs’ bankruptcy, and Angelos brought much-needed stability.

However, he became a polarizing figure who operated with a heavy hand – blocking trades, limiting spending with a few exceptions, battling popular figures in the organization and forcing their departures, enforcing strict guidelines for player physicals - before later receding out of the public eye.

He rattled the industry in 1995 by being the only owner who refused to use replacement players during the union strike that began on Aug. 12, 1994. He also arranged for the controversial exhibition series that brought the Orioles to Havana in March 1999, with Angelos seated next to Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The Cuban National Team played at Camden Yards on May 3.

The charitable side of Angelos didn’t get as much publicity, and he insisted on privacy while caring for team employees stricken with serious health issues, including paying for medical expenses and providing charter flights.

Angelos would watch games from his suite, and he shook hands with players in the clubhouse at Camden Yards after the Orioles qualified for the playoffs. He stopped inside the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium after the team’s elimination in the American League Division Series.

The Orioles never won a World Series with Angelos as owner, and they endured 14 consecutive losing seasons before 2012.

One of Angelos’ last baseball-related public appearances came at the 2014 owners meetings in Baltimore.

Angelos is survived by wife Georgia Kousouris and sons John and Louis.

Remembering time spent with Peter G. Angelos upon ...
A statement from the Angelos family

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