Jerome Johnson Richardson Sr. (born July 18, 1936) is a former NFL
player and the founder and principal owner of the
Carolina Panthers of
the National Football League.
1 Early life and college
2 Professional football
4 Carolina Panthers
5 Personal life
7 External links
Early life and college
Richardson was born in Spring Hope, North Carolina. After completing
high school in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he entered Wofford
College, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Richardson was an
Associated Press Little All-America selection in 1957 and '58. He
still holds Wofford's single-game record with 241 receiving yards vs.
Newberry in 1956 and is the record holder for touchdown receptions in
a season (9 in 1958) and in a career (21). As a senior at Wofford, he
scored 72 points on nine touchdowns, 12 extra points and two field
goals. Richardson calls being elected team captain in 1958 his
greatest honor. In 1983, he was chosen to Wofford's All-Time Football
team as a receiver.
Richardson was active in numerous groups on the Wofford campus; he was
a member of
Kappa Alpha Order
Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, President of the
Inter-Fraternity Council, and member of the SCA Cabinet. Honors he
received while at Wofford included Distinguished Military Student,
Scabbard and Blade
Scabbard and Blade Military Fraternity, Sigma Delta Psi, Blue Key
National Honorary Fraternity, and recognition in Who's Who in American
Universities and Colleges.
Drafted in the 13th round by the defending world champion Baltimore
Colts, Richardson played two seasons in the NFL, earning Colt Rookie
of the Year honors in 1959. He caught a touchdown pass in the 1959 NFL
Championship Game from quarterback Johnny Unitas.
Following his NFL career, Richardson used his 1959 NFL championship
bonus with the help of Charles Bradshaw to open the first Hardee's
franchise in Spartanburg. The two ended up owning the Hardee's
business 50/50. The business expanded rapidly under his hands-on
management style. From headquarters in Spartanburg, he co-founded
Spartan Foods, which was the first franchisee of Hardee's. He later
was the CEO of Flagstar, which was the sixth largest food service
company in the nation, controlling 2,500 restaurants and 100,000
employees. He retired in 1995.
On October 26, 1993, Richardson became the first former NFL player
George Halas to become an owner when the
Carolina Panthers were
unanimously awarded the NFL's 29th franchise.
Richardson played a prominent role locking out the NFL players in 2011
and in negotiating a new players agreement.
For the most part, Richardson has stayed in the background and rarely
interferes in the Panthers' day-to-day operations. For instance, when
George Seifert after the 2001 season (in which the Panthers
went 1-15), he went nine years before holding another press conference
at which he took questions from the media—when he announced that
John Fox's contract would not be renewed.
One of the few times in which he has directly intervened in football
matters came in the 2014–15 offseason, when he refused to re-sign
Greg Hardy in the wake of domestic violence charges. Despite
requests from players and coaches to let Hardy have another chance,
Richardson said that he made the decision not to do so because "we do
the right things."
It had long been presumed that Richardson intended to have his sons,
Mark and the late Jon (who died in July 2013 from cancer), inherit
the team. However, both stepped aside before the 2009 season. On
January 16, 2013,
WBTV in Charlotte reported that Richardson wants the
team sold after he dies, but presumably only to someone who will keep
the team in Charlotte.
Since the death of
Buffalo Bills founder
Ralph Wilson in 2014,
Richardson is one of only two NFL owners (
Houston Texans owner Robert
C. McNair being the other) to have owned his respective team for its
In the 2015 season, Richardson's Panthers reached
Super Bowl 50
Super Bowl 50 on
February 7, 2016, after losing only one game all season. The Panthers
fell to the
Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.
On December 17, 2017,
Sports Illustrated reported that "at least four
former Panthers employees have received ‘significant’ monetary
settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by
owner Jerry Richardson, including sexually suggestive language and
behavior, and on at least one occasion directing a racial slur at an
African-American Panthers scout." According to the article, Richardson
regularly asked women in the team offices to "turn around so he could
admire their backsides" on Casual Friday, among other "disturbing"
On December 17, 2017, it was announced that Richardson intended to
sell the Panthers franchise at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Jerry Richardson Stadium
Jerry Richardson Stadium at the University of North Carolina at
Richardson was hospitalized in Charlotte at Carolinas Medical Center
in early December 2008, one month after receiving a pacemaker.
Richardson, who had a history of heart trouble and had undergone
quadruple bypass surgery in 2002, was placed on a donor waiting
list for a new heart two days later. He received a new heart on
February 1, 2009, and has since recovered from the transplant.
Richardson and businessman
Hugh McColl purchased the naming rights to
the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's football field in
2011. The stadium was named
Jerry Richardson Stadium
Jerry Richardson Stadium in 2013 after an
additional $10 million donation. The future of the naming rights are
now uncertain in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. 
In 2006 and 2015, he was elected to the South Carolina Business and
Sports Halls of Fame, respectively.
In 2016 he funded the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the
Arts, in honor of his wife, on the
Wofford College campus. In 2017, he
Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
^ Jerry Richardson. Knowitall.org. Retrieved on 2012-04-19.
^ Hoffer, Richard (October 28, 1991). "The Franchise". Sports
Illustrated. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013.
Retrieved May 13, 2016.
Jerry Richardson Tribute. Panthers.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-19.
^ Fowler, Scott (2013). 100 Things Panthers Fans Should Know And Do
Before They Die. Triumph Books. ISBN 9781600788246.
^ Newton, David (2015-03-23). "Owner says he let
Greg Hardy leave".
^ Reed, Steve (2013-08-09). "Bears defense shines in 24-17 loss to
Panthers". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
^ Source: Richardson mandates Panthers be sold after death. WBTV,
Super Bowl 50
Super Bowl 50 -
Denver Broncos vs.
Carolina Panthers - February
7th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
^ Wertheim, L. Jon; Bernstein, Viv. "Sources: Jerry Richardson,
Panthers Have Made Multiple Confidential Payouts for Workplace
Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment and Use of a Racial Slur".
Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 18 December
^ Mike Cranston "Panthers owner Richardson needs heart transplant".
Archived from the original on December 15, 2008. Retrieved
2012-01-27. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) .
Carolina Panthers Owner Has Heart Transplant ESPN, February 2, 2009
Richard Hoffer (1991-10-28). "The FRANCHISE:
Jerry Richardson quit the
Baltimore Colts over a $250 raise in 1961, parlayed a hamburger stand
into a fortune, and now could end up owning an NFL team". Sports
Illustrated. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
Current owners of the National Football League
American Football Conference
Kim Pegula (Buffalo Bills)
Stephen M. Ross
Stephen M. Ross (Miami Dolphins)
Robert Kraft (New England Patriots)
Woody Johnson (New York Jets)
Steve Bisciotti (Baltimore Ravens)
Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals)
Dee Haslam (Cleveland Browns)
Rooney family (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Bob McNair (Houston Texans)
Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts)
Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars)
KSA Industries (Tennessee Titans)
Pat Bowlen (Denver Broncos)
Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
Alex Spanos (Los Angeles Chargers)
Mark and Carol Davis (Oakland Raiders)
National Football Conference
Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
John Mara and
Steve Tisch (New York Giants)
Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia Eagles)
Daniel Snyder (Washington Redskins)
Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears)
Martha Firestone Ford (Detroit Lions)
Green Bay Packers, Inc.
Green Bay Packers, Inc. (governed by a Board of Directors) (Green Bay
Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings)
Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons)
Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers)
Gayle Benson (New Orleans Saints)
Glazer Family (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bill Bidwill (Arizona Cardinals)
Stan Kroenke (Los Angeles Rams)
John and Denise York (San Francisco 49ers)
Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks)
Baltimore Colts 1959 NFL champions
17 Ray Brown
19 Johnny Unitas
20 Milt Davis
21 Art DeCarlo
23 Carl Taseff
24 Lenny Moore
25 Alex Hawkins
26 Mike Sommer
31 Billy Pricer
35 Alan Ameche
36 Bill Pellington
41 Jackie Simpson
43 Hal Lewis
44 Bert Rechichar
45 L. G. Dupree
47 Johnny Sample
50 Buzz Nutter
52 Dick Szymanski
60 George Preas
63 Art Spinney
64 Marv Matuszak
65 Steve Myhra
66 Don Shinnick
68 Alex Sandusky
70 Art Donovan
76 Big Daddy Lipscomb
77 Jim Parker
78 Ray Krouse
79 Sherman Plunkett
80 Andy Nelson
81 Ordell Braase
82 Raymond Berry
83 Don Joyce
84 Jim Mutscheller
85 Ed Cooke
86 Dave Sherer
87 Jerry Richardson
89 Gino Marchetti
Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank
Assistant Coaches: Herman Ball
Founded in 1995
Based and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina
First-round draft picks
Records and statistics
Memorial Stadium (Clemson)
Bank of America Stadium
Culture and lore
"Sweet Caroline" (song)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hall of Honor
Wild card berths (2)
Division championships (6)
Conference championships (2)
Current league affiliations
League: National Football League
Conference: National Football Conference
Division: South Division