New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson died on Thursday after nearly a month-long battle with the flu, the Saints announced. Benson, who owned the Saints since 1985 and the Pelicans since 2012, was 90. 

The Saints' release noted that he died with his wife, Gayle Marie Benson, by his side.

In 2015, Benson said that his wife would be the owner "when I'm gone." On Thursday, the Saints' official Twitter account confirmed that the NFL and NBA approved Gayle Benson as the new owner.

Benson was a native of New Orleans, attended Loyola University New Orleans, and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. On May 31, 1985, after earning a fortune in the businesses of cars and banking, he bought the Saints and kept them in New Orleans. During his time as the owner, the Saints went to the playoffs 11 times and won Super Bowl XLIV less than five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

In 2012, Benson bought the New Orleans Hornets. They were eventually renamed the Pelicans.

Shortly after his passing, countless ex-players and those who knew Benson expressed their sorrow on social media.

NFL teams and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also gave their condolences on Twitter. Here are a few of their messages, though certainly not all of them:, meanwhile, provided a look-back at Benson's life and the legacy he's leaving behind.