Biography: Gerald Phipps, Owner

Gerald Phipps
Denver Broncos owner Gerald Phipps in 1970. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
Gerald H. Phipps became the first non-player to be inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1985.

Under the guidance of Phipps and his brother Allan, the Broncos rose from their less than auspicious beginnings to the top of the American Football Conference after Phipps purchased the club on Feb. 15, 1965.

In 1977, the Broncos posted a 12-2 regular-season record and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history en route to claiming their first-ever AFC Championship and appearing in their first Super Bowl (XII vs. Dallas).

Denver won the AFC West title in 1977 and ‘78 with Phipps as owner, and the club made three consecutive playoff appearances (1977-79). Under Phipps, the Broncos ultimately rose to a position as one of the NFL’s most stable franchises after recording the first winning season in club history under his direction in 1973 (7-5-2 record). With the success of the Broncos, the doors were opened for major league teams from other sports to grab a piece of the Denver sports pie.

Following the takeover by the Phipps brothers, Denver Broncos season ticket sales improved from 8,002 in 1964 to 22,905 in 1965. Broncos season tickets were sold out for every season under Phipps from 1970-81 and grew to 73,380 in 1981. Denver’s home attendance grew to 598,224 in his final year overseeing the club in 1981.

Before purchasing the Broncos, Phipps was the president of the Gerald H. Phipps Inc. Construction Company, which he continued to operate. Phipps was born March 4, 1915, in Denver. Mr. Phipps passed away on Aug. 6, 1993.