American Football Database

William V. "Bill" Bidwill, Sr. (born July 31, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois) is the principal owner and chairman of the board of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was part-owner from 1962 to 1972 with his brother Charles, Jr. and has been sole owner since 1972.




Bidwill went to Georgetown Preparatory School, then was in the U.S. Navy until 1956. He went to college at Georgetown University. After his graduation, he moved to St. Louis a few months before the Cardinals moved there.


His father, Charles Bidwill, owned the team from 1932, then known as the Chicago Cardinals, until his death in 1947.[1] His mother, Violet, authorized business partner Ray Bennigsen to carry on management of the team. Violet Bidwill married St. Louis businessman Walter Wolfner in 1949. In 1960, Violet moved the Cardinals to St. Louis. Bill and Charles inherited the team after their mother's death in 1962, and served as co-owners until Bill purchased it outright in 1972. Among NFL franchises, only the Chicago Bears and New York Giants have been controlled by one family longer than the Cardinals.

As owner of the Cardinals

Bidwill's ownership has been marked by little success. In his 47 years as at least part-owner, the Cardinals have only made the playoffs five times. He moved the team to Phoenix, Arizona after the 1987 NFL season after St. Louis refused to build a new stadium to replace Busch Memorial Stadium. Bidwill had a reputation for running the Cardinals rather cheaply; the Cardinals had one of the lowest payrolls in the league for many years. In recent years, however, the Cardinals have begun to spend more since moving into the University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006.

The increased revenue paid off in 2008, when the Cardinals won their division for the first time since 1975 (while they were still in St. Louis), hosted a playoff game for only the second time in franchise history (the last coming in 1947, while they were still in Chicago) and advanced to Super Bowl XLIII. They won another division title in 2009.

In recent years, Bidwill has ceded most day-to-day control over the Cardinals to his sons Michael and Bill, Jr., who serve as team president and vice president respectively.[2]



Preceded by
Violet Bidwill Wolfner
St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals principal owner
1962–present (from 1962-1972 shared control with his brother, Charles Bidwill, Jr.)
Succeeded by

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