Houston Texans Founder, Senior Chairman & CEO Robert C. McNair Passes Away
Style Magazine Newswire | 11/24/2018, 12:27 p.m.
Houston Texans Founder, Senior Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair passed away on Friday, November 23, 2018 at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife, Janice, sons, Cal and Cary, daughters, Ruth and Melissa, 15 grandchildren (10 granddaughters, five grandsons) and two great grandsons.
McNair was a leading businessman, sportsman and philanthropist in Houston who returned professional football to the city in 2002. His idea to bring the NFL back to Houston was approved on October 5, 1999 after a 29-0 vote by the League’s owners to award him the 32nd NFL franchise. His influence and leadership also brought two Super Bowls to NRG Stadium: Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and Super Bowl LI in 2017. As a committed leader in the NFL, McNair was actively involved in league affairs including serving as chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Audit, Compensation and Chairman’s committees.
Throughout his life, McNair and his charitable foundations generously gave more than $500 million to a wide array of scientific, literary, educational and faith-based organizations. McNair chaired The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the Houston Texans Foundation and The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation for more than 25 years. His philanthropic leadership, humanitarian efforts and impact in the community were recognized far and wide with numerous awards and honors.
The McNairs’ love of community is evident throughout the city, including projects such as the Baylor College of Medicine McNair Campus, the Houston Zoo’s Elephant Habitat, the jogging trail at Discovery Green, the United Way Computer Training Center and the McNair Hall and Plaza at Houston Baptist University. The Association of Fundraising Professionals honored McNair with the highest recognition given for exceptional generosity and outstanding civic and charitable responsibility. Additionally, Rice University named its school of management, “Janice and Robert McNair Hall” and Baylor College of Medicine presented him with its first Pink Ribbon Hero Award for his commitment to fight cancer.
The McNair Scholars Program recruits and deploys world-class physicians and research scientists in the fields of diabetes, cancer and neurosciences, which helps influencers across Houston’s acclaimed Texas Medical Center. McNair donated over $100 million to help build and support the program. He has also been honored for his devotion to supporting the education of inner-city and underprivileged youth and was awarded the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership.McNair was perhaps best known in the business community as the founder of Cogen Technologies, which became the largest privately-owned cogeneration company in the world. He also served as senior chairman of McNair Interests, Palmetto Partners, Ltd. and RCM Financial Services, L.P. He was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Houston Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2018, McNair became the sixth recipient of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award.
Stonerside Stable, a major thoroughbred horse farm in Kentucky, was also among McNair’s successes. A 1,947-acre thoroughbred horse farm and racing stable, Stonerside was home to more than 275 racehorses, broodmares, yearlings and weanlings. From its inception in 1994, Stonerside won 72 Graded Stakes, including the 1997 Belmont Stakes, and bred the winners of more than $50 million. It was named Breeder of the Year in 2007 and 2008 by Kentucky horsemen.