Billionaire Orioles Owner Peter Angelos Dies at 94


Peter Angelos, the champion workers’ rights lawyer-turned-fiery Baltimore Orioles owner, died on Saturday at the age of 94.

The Orioles and the Angelos’ family announced the death in a statement, without giving a cause of death. The billionaire had been ill for years before.

Angelos had a polarizing legacy with the Orioles, often clashing with players and coaches in a style that many deemed overly controlling. But before he bought the team in 1993, Angelos won millions as a lawyer representing workers who had been injured by asbestos exposure. His firm often represented unions and union members in personal injury cases.

In the early 1990s, Angelos’ grueling 18-hour work days at his law practice paid off, when he won a settlement of more than $1 billion on behalf of workers exposed to asbestos. He took an estimated $330 million cut from that suit, which provided him the funds to buy Baltimore’s baseball team from its bankrupt former owner.

Angelos’ pro-union tendencies continued into his baseball team ownership, when he refused to hire replacement teams after baseball players went on strike. For his position, Angelos earned the ire of other owners but the admiration of players and other union supporters.

But his leadership also coincided with a stormy chapter in Orioles history. Angelos’ stubborn stances cost the Orioles its star manager Davey Johnson in 1997, right before the team slid into a 14-season losing streak between 1998 and 2011.

Angelos ceded control of the team in 2020, when he passed ownership to his son. He had suffered several health issues in 2017 and 2018, which left him disabled.

Angelos’ death comes a little more than one month after his family agreed to sell the Orioles to a new owner for $1.725 billion.

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