On Tuesday evening, the Blackhawks announced their chairman and principal owner, Rocky Wirtz, died. He was 70.
Following his death, not only did the Chicago sports owners/teams release statements, local government officials did, too. Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, and Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, each released their own statements.
Here is Pritzker's statement:
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"MK and I are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Rocky Wirtz. Throughout his accomplished life, Rocky wore many hats: a dedicated businessman, passionate philanthropist, die-hard Chicago sports lover, devoted family man, and, of course, an Illinois giant.
"His contributions to the Land of Lincoln are far-reaching and all- encompassing--from uplifting the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup Championships to supporting thousands of Chicago families in need through the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. Rocky epitomized what it means to be an Illinoisan -always ready to lend a hand to a stranger. His absence leaves a gaping hole in our state and nation, but Rocky's extraordinary legacy will carry on in the thousands of lives that he touched and the hundreds of thousands of fans whose hopes he helped fulfill.
"To the love of his life, Marilyn, and his children Danny, Hillary, Kendall, and Elizabeth: the State of Illinois offers our deepest condolences and wishes you healing in light of this unimaginable tragedy. May his memory be a blessing."
Here is Johnson's statement:
"Rocky Wirtz was a champion in every sense of the word — in family, in business, in sports ownership, and most important, in life. From his stalwart leadership of the Wirtz Corporation and multitude of corporate ventures, to the Blackhawks’ miracle run of three Stanley Cup champions in six seasons, he exemplified class and excellence at every turn.
"As successful as he was as a chairman and owner, however, he was an even greater man, giving a United Center security officer or parking attendant the same amount of respect he would offer a fellow magnate or CEO. That is who Rocky Wirtz was, and he will be dearly missed.
"My heart is with the Wirtz family, his colleagues and the entire Blackhawks organization during this difficult time. This is a sad day, and a tremendous loss for our city."