Minnesota sports lost one of its true titans on Friday, as Wheelock Whitney, Jr., passed away at his home in Independence, Minnesota at the age of 89.
Whitney was, at one time, a part-owner and President of the Minnesota Vikings. He was one of the "Gang of Ten" investors that owned the team before they sold to Red McCombs in 1998. In addition to that, he was part of the group of investors that helped to bring the North Stars to Minnesota in 1966, as well as part of a group that was instrumental in bringing the Minnesota Twins to the state in 1961, and served on the board of the Twins for nearly a quarter of a century.
His impact was felt outside of the world of sports in Minnesota as well. Whitney and his wife, Irene, helped to found the Johnson Institute, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center. It is now a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, working to help people in overcoming their addiction issues.
Wheelock Whitney played a pretty significant role in shaping the sports scene in Minnesota over the years, as well as helping people in other aspects of their lives as well. We send our condolences to the Whitney family for their loss.