Jon Richardson, the son of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 53 years old.
Jon Richardson was the president of the Panthers Stadium LLC, handling the building and grounds during the team’s early years, while his brother Mark worked more closely with the football side. Both sons were fired by their father in 2009, after Jerry Richardson’s heart transplant surgery.
Those who were closest to Jon Richardson marveled at his common touch, and ability to connect with stadium workers from the top to the bottom. When the team eliminated playoff bonuses for team employees during a cost-cutting binge in 2008, he went around to each of his employees (the plumbers, the electricians, the security guards), passing out cash from his pocket and apologizing that he couldn’t do more. It was the kind of genuine gesture he’ll be remembered for.
A former wide receiver at North Carolina, he built his own successful business before joining his father in the mid-1990s. He left behind a wife and three children.
Our deepest condolences go out to the Richardson family.