THOMAS MILTON BENSON (born July 12, 1927) is an American businessman,
philanthropist and sports franchise owner. He currently is the
owner of the
New Orleans Saints of the
National Football League
National Football League (NFL)
New Orleans Pelicans of the
National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association (NBA).
As a sports team owner, Benson has a
Super Bowl victory to his
credit, via the Saints winning
Super Bowl XLIV .
* 1 Biography
New Orleans Saints
* 1.1.1 Saints relocation controversy
* 1.2 Other
* 2 Philanthropy
* 3 Personal life
* 4 Awards and honors
* 5 Asset controversy
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Benson was born in
New Orleans ,
Louisiana , to Thomas Benson, Sr.
and Carmen Benson. He served in the U.S. Navy and then graduated with
an accounting degree at Loyola University of
New Orleans in 1948.
After school he worked as a car salesman at Cathey Chevrolet in New
Orleans. In 1956, he moved to San Antonio to try and revive a poorly
performing dealership; he was granted a 25% interest in the dealership
for his efforts. In 1962, he became full owner of Tom Benson
Chevrolet. He is the owner of several automobile dealerships in the
New Orleans and San Antonio areas. Benson became wealthy by
investing profits from his automobile dealerships in local banks. He
eventually purchased several small Southern banks and formed Benson
Financial, which he sold to
Norwest Corporation in 1996.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Benson purchased the Saints from John Mecom in 1985 after he learned
Edwin W. Edwards
Edwin W. Edwards that the team was on the verge of being
sold to parties interested in moving the team to Jacksonville, Florida
. Ownership of the team was officially transferred to him on May 31,
Shortly after acquiring the Saints, Benson gained a reputation as one
of the more popular and colorful owners in the league. He hired
Jim Finks and head coach Jim Mora , who led the Saints
to their first winning season and playoff appearance.
Benson's popularity later declined, however, after numerous attempts
to persuade the state of
Louisiana to construct a new stadium for the
Saints to replace the aging Superdome, suggesting that he might move
the team elsewhere if said stadium were not built. His popularity hit
an all-time low in late 2005 after it appeared he was trying to move
the team to San Antonio after
Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.
(See Relocation controversy below for more details.) He later stated
that the Saints would return to
New Orleans for the 2006 season, which
they did. The team's fortunes improved dramatically in the years after
their return , including a 31–17 defeat of the
Indianapolis Colts on
February 7, 2010 to win
Super Bowl XLIV , and Benson recovered much of
his popularity as well.
On July 18, 2008, the Benson-led
Louisiana Media Company consummated
their purchase of
WVUE-DT , the Fox affiliate for the
New Orleans area
and by virtue of their affiliation, the major carrier of Saints games
as part of the
NFL on Fox
NFL on Fox contract. Since the sale, the station has
also become the de facto home of the Saints, including coach's shows
and preseason games.
Benson is well known for doing the "Benson Boogie" after Saints home
victories. Benson, in true
New Orleans fashion, would second line
dance down the field of the Superdome in the closing minutes of the
game while carrying an umbrella decorated in black and gold. He is
often called "Boogie Benson" by
Michael Wilbon on
ESPN 's Pardon the
Saints Relocation Controversy
During the Saints' 2001 negotiations with the state of Louisiana,
rumors circulated that Benson would seek relocation if his requests
— which included renovations to the Superdome, a new practice
facility in suburban Metairie , and escalating annual payments from
the state to the team — could not be met. Though he never made
public statements to this effect, Benson's business ties to the city
— and the availability of the
Alamodome as a playing facility —
made San Antonio the most common subject of speculation.
When it became clear that
Hurricane Katrina 's extensive damage to
New Orleans and the Superdome would make it impossible for the Saints
to play there in 2005, the team temporarily relocated its operations
to San Antonio and began negotiations to play home games at the
Alamodome. (The Saints, after discussions with the NFL and Louisiana
State University , eventually agreed to play one "home" game at Giants
Stadium against the Giants, three games at the
Alamodome and four
games at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge ).
At the Saints-Falcons game on October 16, the second of two warm
receptions of the Saints by the San Antonio community, mayor Phil
Hardberger stated that Benson had agreed to schedule negotiations for
permanent relocation once the 2005 season is over. In reference to
Benson, Hardberger said, "I'm pretty comfortable in saying he wants to
On Monday, October 17, Benson dismissed executive vice president
Arnie Fielkow , who had been a public advocate of the Saints'
importance to the state of Louisiana, and who had advocated the
playing of home games in Baton Rouge. According to Fielkow, Benson
told him that if he'd tender his resignation and sign a
confidentiality agreement, he'd be paid the remainder of his contract;
when he refused, he was fired outright.
Benson's actions quickly drew outrage from Saints fans as well as
local and state officials. On Wednesday, October 19,
New Orleans mayor
Ray Nagin sharply criticized Benson for acts he deemed heartless and
opportunistic. Said Nagin: "For them to be openly talking to other
cities about moving is disrespectful to the citizens of New Orleans,
disrespectful to the Saints fans who have hung in with this franchise
through 30-something years under very trying times."
Two days later, Benson publicly stated that he has made no plans to
move the Saints to San Antonio. "There are many factors that will
affect the future location of our team", Benson said. "That is also
true of many other New Orleans-based companies that are faced with
deciding their future homes." He said he would make no decisions about
the team's future until the 2005 season was over.
On Wednesday, October 26, Benson reiterated his commitment to the New
Orleans area in the form of a full-page ad in newspapers around the
region. The ad, a letter entitled "
Tom Benson Wants to Return to New
Orleans", acknowledged the negative reaction surrounding the team's
recent actions, but promised that no decision has been made regarding
the team's future. Said Benson in the letter, "It is too early to
determine, but my desire is to return to New Orleans."
Benson's firm but noncommittal stance compared unfavorably to the
statements of the then-
New Orleans Hornets , the city's displaced NBA
team. Though the Hornets played all but a handful of games during the
2005–2006 and 2006–2007 seasons in
Oklahoma City — and even
temporarily changed the team's name to the New Orleans/
Hornets, the basketball team's ownership insisted they would return to
the recovering city as soon as possible. The Hornets also announced a
community relations initiative to keep the team involved in the New
Paul Tagliabue met with Benson and Louisiana
Kathleen Blanco at the Saints' first home game in Baton Rouge
on October 30. After the meeting, he stopped just short of making a
formal commitment to keep the Saints in New Orleans. Said Tagliabue:
"The Saints are Louisiana's team and have been since the late '60s
when my predecessor
Pete Rozelle welcomed them to the league as New
Orleans' team and Louisiana's team. Our focus continues to be on
having the Saints in Louisiana." He dispelled rumors that have the
Saints relocating to Los Angeles. He also suggested that the Saints
may need to focus on becoming more of a regional team, possibly
implying a name change to the
Louisiana Saints or the Gulf Coast
Saints. Tagliabue was to form an eight-owner advisory committee to
help decide the team's future.
That same day, Benson charged
New Orleans news reporter Lee Zurik
with a raised hand while leaving Tiger Stadium following a Saints loss
Miami Dolphins and lunged at the television news crew grabbing
a camera and wrenching it down before being eased away by Saints
security. A video also appeared to show Benson angrily responding to a
heckling fan. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league would likely
take no action against Benson. On November 11, 2005, an e-mail sent
Paul Tagliabue from Benson was leaked to the press.
Benson stated in the e-mail that he feared for his life, and his
family's safety upon his exit from Tiger Stadium, and would not be
returning to any future games in Baton Rouge. Benson declared in the
email that security in the stadium was "inadequate" and claimed that
his family "could all have been severely injured or killed." However,
LSU officials were quick to point out that they had no negative
comments from the Saints or the NFL concerning Tiger Stadium security.
In addition, the videotape of Benson from October 30 showed him being
escorted by at least one security guard, belying his e-mail claim that
security was "non-existent." A day later, Saints spokesman Greg Bensel
stated that Benson's e-mail was sent in frustration, and that Benson
was undecided on whether he would attend any future games in Baton
Rouge. Benson did not attend the following week's game at Tiger
Stadium on November 6 against the
Chicago Bears .
On November 4, 2005, Benson made a deal with
Kathleen Blanco that would postpone two important termination
deadlines in the team's Superdome lease until after the 2006 season.
Benson extended his force majeure clause period until January 2007.
Presumably that stood to keep the Saints in
New Orleans until January
2007; however, Benson could still have invoked the clause any time
prior to then. This seemingly bought the Saints time to explore future
options with state officials without having had to make a decision on
the future of the franchise immediately. This also allowed the state
to focus on more pressing needs in the recovery efforts from
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while allowing the Saints more time to
determine whether the region's economy could rebound enough to
continue supporting the franchise.
In the midst of this controversy, several groups of investors
approached Benson with offers to buy the team and keep them in
Louisiana, the most publicized group being one led by Fox Sports
analyst and former
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
Terry Bradshaw ,
who is a
Louisiana native. However, Benson expressed then and since
that he had no intentions of selling the team and planned eventually
to hand down ownership to his granddaughter, Saints owner/executive
Rita Benson LeBlanc . Benson spoke to press following an NFL owners'
meeting on November 15, 2005 at which he reiterated that the team is
not for sale, but also stated that other NFL owners, along with
Tagliabue, were working with him to keep the team in New Orleans.
On December 17,
ESPN reported that Benson had told Saints players
that he planned to keep the Saints in San Antonio for the 2006 season
and possibly beyond, and that he was willing to sue the NFL for the
right to stay there. This was days after NFL Players Association
Gene Upshaw advised the Saints players not to renew
their leases on their homes in San Antonio because the league planned
to order them to return to their home facilities in Metairie. This
was also a few days after Benson had reportedly told his staff that
they could not return to their Metairie facilities because they were
still being occupied by FEMA and National Guard officials and that the
New Orleans area had become "unlivable." The State of Louisiana
responded by sending Benson a formal letter asking him and the Saints
organization to return to the facility at the end of the 2005 season.
Included with the letter were statements from FEMA and the National
Guard stating that they were no longer using the facility.
On December 30, two days before the Saints' final game of the 2005
season against the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Benson announced at a press
conference that the Saints were return to their Metairie facility at
the end of the 2005 season, and that the team would play as many of
their home games as possible during the 2006 season in the Louisiana
Superdome, which he said could be ready as early as mid-September,
2006. On January 11, 2006, Benson and Tagliabue announced plans to
play all of their 2006 home games in the Superdome. Tagliabue also
stated that the NFL was committed to keeping the Saints in New Orleans
beyond 2006, calling it a "multiyear effort" and not just a one-year
deal. He also stated that the NFL was talking with city officials
about possibly hosting another
Super Bowl there in the near future,
which would be the city's 10th. Benson stated that he was committed to
New Orleans "forever, as long as the community commits to me".
In 1992, Benson made a deal to acquire the
Charlotte Knights AA minor
league baseball team and bring them to
New Orleans for the 1993
season, renaming them the "Pelicans" after New Orleans' old minor
league team , but the transaction was thwarted when the Denver Zephyrs
AAA team relocated to
New Orleans to make way for the major league
Colorado Rockies .
In 1998, Benson was granted a license for a team in the Arena
Football League , which finally began play in 2004 as the New Orleans
VooDoo . Benson relinquished ownership of the VooDoo on October 13,
2008 during an owners' teleconference. By this point the entire Arena
Football League was in grave financial difficulty and shortly
afterward filed for bankruptcy reorganization and the 2009 season was
never played. A subsequent AFL team with the same name which played in
the early 2010s did so without Benson's involvement.
On April 13, 2012, Benson bought the
New Orleans Hornets, now known
New Orleans Pelicans , from the NBA for $338 million.
In 2017, Benson bought a majority stake in the Dixie Brewing Company
from Joe and Kendra Bruno, with plans of returning the brewing
New Orleans within two years.
The Benson family established an endowment fund at Central Catholic
High School , in
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas dedicated to the memory of their
son Robert Carter Benson, who graduated from the school in 1966. Tom
Benson also donated the Benson Memorial Library at Central Catholic.
Robert Carter Benson died of cancer in 1985, at the age of 37.
Benson and his family long have been ardent supporters of University
of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.The Gayle and
Tom Benson Stadium
officially opened on campus September 1, 2008, when the Bensons joined
with more than 2,000 Cardinals fans and athletes to declare the
facility ready for action.The stadium is wide enough and long enough
that the Cardinals soccer teams, men's and women's, have begun playing
their games here.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas at St. Anthony Catholic School there is a
Library named after Benson's son who died of cancer.
September 23, 2010, Benson donated $8 million to Loyola University
New Orleans in what will be called the Benson Jesuit Center.
In January 2012, Benson and his wife were awarded the Pro Ecclesia et
Pontifice for their generosity to Catholic Church, the highest papal
honor that Catholic laypeople can receive.
In November 2012
Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, donated $7.5 million
towards the construction of
Tulane University 's
Yulman Stadium . The
stadium, which opened in 2014, brought the Green Wave back to campus
for the first time since the demolition of
Tulane Stadium in 1980. The
playing surface is known as Benson Field.
In November 2014,
Fawcett Stadium at the
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame in
Canton, Ohio was renamed "
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium" in
recognition of a $11 million donation by Tom Benson.
In 2015 the Benson family gave $20 million for cancer care and
After purchasing a home in the exclusive
Audubon Place neighborhood
in New Orleans, Benson is now a resident of his hometown again. His
Larry Benson , has also been in sports ownership and owned
San Antonio Riders of the World League.
Benson has been married three times. His first wife was Shirley
Landry who is deceased. In 2003, his second wife, Grace Marie
Trudeau Benson (born March 1, 1927), died of Parkinson's disease. In
October 2004, he married Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird.
Tom Benson and his first wife Shirley adopted three children: Robert
Carter Benson, Renee Benson, and Jeanne Marie Benson. Renee Benson
has two adult children, Rita LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc. Rita Benson
LeBlanc was Saints owner and executive vice president until Tom Benson
fired her, her brother Ryan and her mother Renee, and wrote them out
of his will. She, along with her mother Renee and brother Ryan
LeBlanc, then sued
Tom Benson claiming he is incompetent, and for
control of his companies. Benson's only living child, as of January
2015, is Renee.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Super Bowl XLIV Champion (as owner of the
New Orleans Saints )
Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium in
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (University of
the Incarnate Word ) named in his (and his wife's) honor
* Football field at
Yulman Stadium in New Orleans,
University ) named "Benson Field" in his honor
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in
Canton, Ohio named in his honor
* Statue in
Canton, Ohio (in front of his namesake stadium)
In January 2015, after
Tom Benson announced that he had cut his
estranged adopted daughter Renee Benson and her adult children out of
his will, he was sued by Renee and Renee's two children, Rita LeBlanc
(also known as Rita Benson LeBlanc) and Ryan LeBlanc of
Texas . One of
Renee, Rita and Ryan's complaints in the lawsuit is "Upon information
and belief, under the apparent supervision of Gayle, the diet of Tom
Benson has drastically deteriorated, with him rarely consuming full,
nutritious meals, but instead, for some reason, subsisting on candy,
ice cream, sodas, and red wine." Renee Benson, Rita LeBlanc and
Ryan LeBlanc are suing for control of Tom Benson's companies including
New Orleans Saints and the NBA's Pelicans, claiming he is
Tom Benson released a statement saying that the lawsuit and claims
against him by his adoptive daughter and her children are false and
meritless. In February 2015,
Tom Rickhoff named
former San Antonio Mayor
Phil Hardberger and attorney Art Bayern as
co-executors of the testamentary trust of Shirley L. Benson. The two
replace Benson as trustees of the estate. On June 18, 2015, a judge
found him competent.
On February 19, 2016,
Judge Rickhoff approved the appointment of
Renee Benson, Benson's estranged adopted daughter, as administrator of
the $1 billion Shirley Benson Testamentary Trust, which includes the
Lone Star Capital Bank in San Antonio, half of five automobile
dealerships, part of a large ranch near Johnson City,
Texas , a home
Lake Tahoe ,
Nevada , an airplane, and cash and other real estate
holdings. Benson's attorney said his client after much wrangling and
two weeks of mediation chose to settle the dispute so as to live his
remaining time at peace and to relieve himself of a hefty tax burden
required on those assets.
* ^ https://www.forbes.com/profile/tom-benson/
* ^ "Tom Benson".
Forbes . September 2014. Retrieved February 9,
2015. Children 3
* ^ A B "Hornets sale to Saints owner Benson official". NBA.com.
Retrieved 19 June 2015.
* ^ A B C D Los Angeles Times: "
Super Bowl Xxi : The Nfl Owners :
The Nfc West" by EARL GUSTKEY January 25, 1987
* ^ Phinisee, Tamarind; Lowe Sanchez, Sandra (2003-03-09). "Auto
Tom Benson jumping back into bank biz". San Antonio Business
Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
* ^ Judy Battista, " In Step: Benson Shares In The Recovery Of New
The New York Times
The New York Times , January 28, 2013.
* ^ Nakia Hogan, "With
Super Bowl 2013 approaching, Tom Benson
remains in the spotlight",
Times-Picayune , January 26, 2013.
* ^ "Mayor, Saints owner to negotiate at season\'s end".
Associated Press. October 17, 2005.
* ^ "Saints dismiss executive Fielkow".
ESPN.com . Associated
Press. October 18, 2005.
* ^ "Nagin blasts Saints owner for trying to move team".
Associated Press. October 19, 2005.
* ^ "Benson says he has no San Antonio plan".
ESPN.com . Associated
Press. October 21, 2005.
* ^ "New Orleans\' pro teams reaffirm ties to battered city".
ESPN.com . Associated Press. October 26, 2005.
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?". Archived from the original on 2009-01-07.
* ^ "?". Archived from the original on 2012-02-10.
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?".
* ^ "?".
* ^ "Saints are expected back in Superdome".
Houston Chronicle .
Associated Press. January 11, 2006.
* ^ "Displaced Zephyrs Stay Silent on Stadium Site in New Orleans",
Deseret News , November 25, 1992.
* ^ "Charlotte AA team needs new home",
Associated Press in
TimesDaily , January 25, 1993.
* ^ Sayre, Katherine (July 26, 2017). "
Tom Benson to build Dixie
Beer brewery in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. NOLA.com. Retrieved
27 July 2017.
* ^ The Times-Picayune: "Tom and Gayle Benson receive highest papal
honor for their generosity to Catholic Church" by John Pope January
* ^ Tulane\'s field to be named for Benson – San Antonio
Express-News. Mysanantonio.com (2012-11-02). Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
* ^ "
New Orleans Saints owner
Tom Benson pledges $11 million to Pro
Football Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
* ^ Moran, Kate. "Tom Benson\'s home tops list of the most
expensive metro area houses sold in 2008". The
Retrieved 29 December 2013.
* ^ My San Antonio: "Auto dealer was Rey Feo, known for generosity"
By Neal Morton October 28, 2013
* ^ San Antonio Today\'s Catholic: "Central Catholic dedicates
stadium to alum Benson" October 9, 2009
* ^ Catholic News Agency: "Catholic history of
New Orleans Saints
runs deep" February 6, 2010
* ^ Business Journals: "Wife of Saints owner
Tom Benson passes
away" by W. Scott Bailey November 18, 2003
* ^ ESPN: "A bye-week wedding for Saints owner" October 27, 2004
* ^ Los Angeles Times: "Champs Demand Respect" by Sam Farmer
February 02, 2005
* ^ Jaquetta White (February 9, 2015). "Little-known daughter of
Tom thrust in spotlight". The Advocate . Retrieved February 9, 2015.
Tom Benson and his first wife, Shirley, adopted a 5- or 6-month-old
Renee Benson from the St. Vincent de Paul orphanage in New Orleans
almost six decades ago. The couple could not have children of their
own. Renee was their middle child. A son, Robert Carter, was eight
years older, and a daughter, Jeanne Marie, called "Tootsie," was four
* ^ Nick Underhill (January 24, 2015). "Tom Benson\'s new Saints,
Pelicans succession plan has \'unequivocal support\' from GM Mickey
New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Renee
Benson, who was adopted by
Tom Benson and his first wife, Shirley, and
her son, Ryan, are also no longer associated with the teams.
* ^ Brian Solomon (April 23, 2012). "Billionaire
Tom Benson Benches
Granddaughter, Presumed Heir, For Her "Sense Of Entitlement"". Forbes
. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ Jeff Duncan (April 22, 2012). "Rita Benson LeBlanc\'s
conspicuous absence at high-profile events leaves some wondering about
her future with N.O.\'s sports franchises". The
Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ Jeff Duncan (January 21, 2015). "
New Orleans Saints, Pelicans
ownership shocker: wife Gayle, not granddaughter Rita, will control
Tom Benson dies". The
Times-Picayune . Retrieved January
24, 2015. Rita Benson LeBlanc, Renee LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc were
removed from the Saints' staff directory Wednesday night; Rita also
had the title of vice chairman of the board with both franchises.….
Renee and Ryan Benson also have been shut out from Benson's
operations. Their offices at the team's facility on Airline Drive have
* ^ Mike Triplett (January 23, 2015). "Controversial ownership
decision intended to bring stability to Saints, Pelicans".
Retrieved January 24, 2015. Multiple sources within the two sports
franchises, both on and off the record, applauded the move. Many
believe the transition will be much smoother if Gayle Benson becomes
owner instead of Tom Benson's adopted daughter, Renee Benson, and
Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc.
* ^ Brett Martel,
Associated Press (January 22, 2015). "Tom
Benson\'s relatives sue over their ouster from ownership positions
with Saints, Pelicans".
The Vancouver Sun
The Vancouver Sun . Retrieved January 24,
* ^ "Saints, Pelicans owner asks judge to dismiss heirs\' lawsuit".
Fox Sports . AP . January 27, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
* ^ Pro Football HOF makes progress with new stadium - News 5
* ^ Darin Gantt (January 23, 2015). "
Tom Benson says he feels
"Great, just like a 50-year-old"".
NBC Sports . Retrieved January 24,
2015. Benson created a stir when he announced that he was taking away
future control of his assets from his daughter and grandchildren and
transferring them to his current wife. They in turn sued him, claiming
he wasn’t competent to do so, in a bizarre suit that claims his
Gayle Benson is manipulating him, including the claim that she's
feeding him mainly candy, ice cream soda and red wine. He in turn
issued a statement saying he was perfectly capable of handling his own
affairs, and that he’d fight the lawsuit.
* ^ Tom Ley (January 23, 2015). "Suit: Saints Owner
Tom Benson Is
Being Manipulated By His Scheming Wife".
Deadspin . Retrieved January
24, 2015. Upon information and belief, under the apparent supervision
of Gayle, the diet of
Tom Benson has drastically deteriorated, with
him rarely consuming full, nutritious meals, but instead, for some
reason, subsisting on candy, ice cream, sodas, and red wine.
* ^ Mike Triplett (January 23, 2015). "Bensons at odds over
ESPN.com . Retrieved January 24, 2015. Benson, 87,
announced Wednesday that he plans to hand over control of the
franchises to his wife, Gayle, in the event of his death. But Benson's
adopted daughter, Renee Benson, and grandchildren Rita Benson LeBlanc
and Ryan LeBlanc filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming he should not be
allowed to do so because his "health and mental capacity have
significantly declined" and he has "fallen under the undue influence"
of Gayle, whom Benson married in 2004.
* ^ "Rita Benson LeBlanc, family file suit claiming Tom Benson
incompetent to control
New Orleans Saints, Pelicans". The
Times-Picayune . January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ NOLA.com (January 22, 2015). "Read the complete Rita Benson
LeBlanc family lawsuit against Tom and Gayle Benson". The
Times-Picayune . Retrieved January 24, 2015. The suit was filed one
Tom Benson unexpectedly announced plans to transfer future
ownership of the clubs to wife, Gayle, cutting off his daughter, Renee
LeBlanc, and his two grandchildren, Ryan LeBlanc and Rita Benson
LeBlanc, who until recently had been designated as the heir apparent.
* ^ Larry Holder (January 23, 2015). "Given Rita Benson LeBlanc\'s
volatility, Tom Benson\'s wife Gayle best option to take reins: Larry
Times-Picayune . Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ Gabe Hiatt (January 22, 2015). "Spurned daughter, grandchildren
sue Saints owner for writing them out of will". The Washington Post
blog. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ Mike Triplett (January 23, 2015). "Bensons at odds over
ESPN.com . Retrieved January 24, 2015.
* ^ David Hendricks (February 5, 2015). "Hardberger named
co-receiver of Benson Trust".
San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio Express-News . Retrieved
March 2, 2015.
* ^ "
Tom Benson competent to run Saints, Pelicans".
NOLA.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
* ^ Van Darden. "
Tom Benson to remain in control of estate". KSAT.
Retrieved 19 June 2015.
* ^ "
Tom Benson competent to run
New Orleans Saints, Pelicans,
judge rules". ESPN.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
* ^ David Hendricks, "Benson's daughter controls $1B trust: Judge
OKS deal after 13-month legal fight", San Antonio Express-News,
February 20, 2016, pp.1, A13