KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Longtime Chiefs executive Jack Steadman, who spent more than four decades with the franchise and helped build its only Super Bowl team, died early Sunday. He was 86.
Steadman died of natural causes, the Chiefs said in a statement. Steadman had been dealing with Alzheimer's disease in recent years. Funeral arrangements were pending.
"I had the privilege of knowing Jack my entire life, and he taught me much about both business and life," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said. "He always brought a strong, innovative perspective to the room. Jack was an outstanding man of character, who greatly valued his faith and family."
Steadman met Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, and helped him to found the AFL and the Dallas Texans, the franchise that would ultimately move to Kansas City.
He became general manager in 1966, building the team that beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl four years later. He became president of the Chiefs in 1976 and remained active on its board of directors until his retirement at the end of the 2006 season.
"Jack played a key role in the development of the American Football League and was also an influential figure in the success of the Chiefs," Clark Hunt said. "During his tenure as general manager, the team won four championships including Super Bowl IV."
Steadman was also an astute businessman, working hand-in-hand with Lamar Hunt on other business ventures, including the development of the Worlds of Fun amusement Park and Hunt Midwest, a real estate company that includes the world's largest underground business complex.
The Chiefs were always his passion, though, and even as recently as this past season, Steadman would stop by practice and chat with general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid.
"While today we are saddened by his passing, his contributions to the Chiefs, the Kansas City community and my family will never be forgotten," Clark Hunt said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Judy, and the entire Steadman family."